The Seasons of Organizational Growth
A few years ago I heard a statement that really shifted the way I evaluate and assess Bloom Church. Someone said and I am paraphrasing “Every healthy leader of a healthy organization knows exactly what season their organization is in”. That we should be purposefully understanding where we are at as an organization and what are the biggest needs for us to move forward. Now that may sound like a no-brainer, but if we are honest most organizations are stuck in the day-to-day mindset and the thought to evaluate where they are at as an organization and where they need to go is nonexistent. What we must understand is that every organization goes through seasons and we never stay in the same season forever. Now if you don’t understand this concept of organizational seasons you will do one of two things. First, you will think you are the only organizations experiencing what you are experiencing and put yourself in a silo. Secondly, when times are great or when times are not so great you don’t understand that neither season lasts forever and if you are not looking ahead you will find yourself in trouble.
Seasons in an organization can look a lot like the seasons we experience in a calendar year.
FALL– Fall is the season of change. The leaves change colors, the air gets crisp, and the reality is everything is dying to embrace for winter. The same is true in your organization when you are in the season of fall. This is when change must happen in your organization to go to the next level, but with the change, there is a price to pay because the way you used to do it will die. Things will start to look a little different in this phase of the organization, but don’t worry because change overtime becomes the new normal.
WINTER– This is the dreaded season because on the surface it doesn’t look like much is happening, but beneath the surface is where new life is forming. Most people quit in this season because they reminisce about how good it was in the past instead of understanding that there are new seasons in their future. With the change of fall, we see the dead of winter and sometimes we lose some of our people, but this is the pruning process and cleaning process of your organization. We all need to get rid of the unhealthy areas of our church so we can allow the new growth to take place. Maybe the death is in character flaws, leadership struggles, ineffective ministries, or systems that are failing and it is in the dead of winter that we start building and perfecting those once weak areas.
SPRING– This is where hope starts rising as the temperature starts to change and birds start singing again. You start to see the new colors forming where life is coming back into bloom! This is the stage that you actually start seeing the changes you made have a positive effect on your organization and you start to see some growth take place. This is a much-needed relief after a long winter of developing, training, and restructuring and now you are starting to understand that it was worth it.
SUMMER– This is where momentum kicks in and everything is rocking on all cylinders. Everything is in full bloom, relationships are being formed, and a sense of joy just permeates your organization. Everyone loves the excitement that the growth of summer brings and the places your organization is going. However, if we just kick our feet up in this phase and not anticipate another year of seasons we will not make the necessary improvements and changes that our organization needs to sustain this growth. Then we will be like one of those summer main attractions that were once so popular in the past but now is just a ghost town.
We all experience the seasons in our organizations and the length of those seasons all depends on the size of the problems you are facing and/or your willingness to embrace the seasons and change. Remember that if you embrace the season you are in and anticipate the next season you will arrive at the seasons of growth soon enough!
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