Why Dying Organizations Die

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.47.20 PM.png

An organization recognizes that the way they are currently running their business is not working. They recognize that changes need to be made.

The board of the organization asks some people from the board to do the hard and time consuming work of exploring, studying, and examining different possible ways forward.

A small group of people are tasked with finding new ways forward. They are even given an apt name for their work – Task Force.

The people on this task force diligently study, meet, discuss, explore.

  • Dozens of conversations with other like organizations and how they do business.
  • Dozens of conversations with other like organizations who are experimenting with new ways of doing business.
  • Dozens of meetings to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the different options.
  • Hundreds of combined hours of discussing the merits of the different approaches and drafting a way forward to present to the board.

After hundreds of combined hours of service from the Task Force, the report and recommendations are presented to the board.

The board, seeing that the recommendations call for changes (that is what they asked for), decide they don’t like the changes.

  • We’ve never done things this way before.
  • We’ve always had a full-time executive.
  • We’ve never shared staff before.

And in a matter of minutes worth of discussion by the board, the board rejects the recommendations and decides to continue doing business the way they’ve always done business.


  • Hundreds of hours of work.
  • Dozens of face to face meetings.
  • Hundreds hours of conversations.

Mind you, changes that are necessary because the way the organization currently does business is no longer working.

Mind you, changes that were asked by the board because they recognized changes were necessary.

All dismissed within a few minutes of discussion by the board that asked them to do the work to begin with.

Now substitute the word “Board” with “Presbytery.”


One thought on “Why Dying Organizations Die

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s