Category Archives: Organization

The Dual Concern Model, Part 3

The graph above demonstrates the proposal made by Blake and Mouton regarding the concern for people vs. the concern for production. In their original publication, they added grid lines for both axes numbering 1 through 9. This was to facilitate the understanding that there were various places on the Managerial Grid that people could fall. In their book they mention that 9 grid lines gives you a possible 81 different points to plot on the grid. In actuality, there are nearly infinite combinations between levels of concern for both people and production.

What Blake and Mouton found, though, was that even though there were nearly infinite possible distributions along these axes, the ranges near the corners of the grid in addition to the mid-point on the grid revealed five general categories that people will typically fall into. Since Blake and Mouton focused on management in their work, their descriptions are similarly managerial focused. I’ve reproduced their grid interpretations in the chart below.

What I find fascinating about the grid as proposed by Blake and Mouton is they way they carefully described the less desirable manifestations in a way that minimized negative language. It’s pretty clear that a managerial style that is concerned for neither people nor production will not produce favorable results. In the same way, focusing concerns on only people or production will produce limited results.

In a setting like a church, where the lines between people and production sometimes blur, how do we see evidence of Blake and Mouton’s dual concern model?

The Dual Concern Model, Part 2

Production and Church Do those two terms sound like the don’t go together well? What is it about the idea of “church” that makes us uncomfortable with terms like “revenue”, “marketing”, or “production”? I’ve felt the twinge that comes from the apparent incompatibility of those concepts, but the truth of the matter is that thoseContinue Reading

The Dual Concern Model, Part 1

Having talked a little about caring and concern, I want to start discussing care and concern as they appear in church priorities and decision making. In their 1964 worked entitled The Managerial Grid, Robert Blake and Jane Srygley Mouton identified two constants in any organization: purpose and people. These two constants form the axes of theContinue Reading

Appropriate Levels of Complexity

Complexity is probably one the most important factors in church organization, yet it is one that is rarely talked about. A system that is too complex or is not complex enough will not meet the needs of the church. I was first introduced to the concept of organizational complexity by way of Mike Armour’s workContinue Reading

Flexible Systems

Different churches need different types of organizational systems. I think most of us would agree to that. For example, a local church without elders for qualification reasons is no less of a church than the large church with dozens of elders. However, different organization systems are required for each one. One area of organization thatContinue Reading

The Makings of a Good System

There are nearly infinite versions of organizational systems that can be found to frame churches around. Some are traditional/pragmatic, such as having elders make decisions or using ‘men’s business meetings’. Some are progressive/research based and are introduced after serious study of culture and organization. Some are simply marketing tools generated to sell books or capitalizeContinue Reading

Jethro II

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 toContinue Reading

Theory X and Theory Y

Some of you may have guessed that the failure with Jethro I was that it didn’t take into account the needs and value of the individual. Sure, Jethro’s original advice to Moses mentioned not wearing people out, but the focus of the system is on the benefits it provides to management/leaders and on getting theContinue Reading

Jethro I

Several years ago, as I was just getting into ministry, I became enamored with the idea of small groups. Initially because it was different than traditional (that’s been a theme with me), then because I was hired to manage small groups for a church. I’ll work small groups in later in our organization discussion butContinue Reading

The Right Way To Do Church

Before I really get started on some church organization stuff, I want to clarify my position on what is the right way to “do church”. If we’re honest, what we do as churches today is mostly created by us. We like to claim that we use a biblical approach or that we do things theContinue Reading