As a response to the development of Theory Y and the increased focus on individuals within society, Jethro II emerged as a new take on an organizational system designed by Moses’ father-in-law thousands of years ago. The difference was significant: The most important part of the system is the individual.
Now, it is easy to take that statement and turn it into some commercialized approach to church where we try to sell Christianity by meeting all the interests and marketable desires of individuals. Let me clarify that the things that Jethro II is most concerned with regarding the individual are those things that are in the best interest of the individual, and thus the organization. Since the overall health of the system depends on the health of the individuals, it makes sense that a system focused on individuals would focus on their health.
So, what do we mean by health? This is where we can get into a disagreement over what role the church should play in the life of the individual. Obviously, we should be concerned with spiritual health, but what about physical, social, psychological, or financial health? I would propose that we would be concerned for all of these above, considering that the health of the individual is made up of these categories, and others, in much the same way that the health of the organization is made up of the individuals. We’ll explain more of that later.
When viewing the organization, Jethro II assumes two things. First, the purpose of the system is to provide care to the individual. Even in the original Jethro model of management, you can see that the care of the individual is drastically improved by multiplying the number of caregivers available. While Jethro I focused on the reduced workload for leaders, Jethro II sees the decentralization of leadership as an opportunity to provide higher quality care to the individual through the use of more caregivers.
The second assumption that Jethro II makes is that through caregiving, individuals will grow and develop and eventually become caregivers themselves. While Jethro’s model focused on identifying trusted leaders that were ready immediately, Jethro II realizes that the best leaders may not be developed, or even born, yet. By making sure that every individual receives care, individuals can be moved through the system and can take ever increasing roles of leadership and responsibility in coordinating the care of 5s, 10s, 50s, and 100s of people.
Now, we know this system needs more meat on the bones than just this. Designing a system that focuses on individual care could easily dissolve into a hug fest or would perhaps resemble a family of monkeys grooming themselves. How do we take these principles of Jethro II and put them into motion so that some semblance of organization occurs?
We’ll cover that soon. Until then, what do you think about Jethro II?