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Creating a Culture of Continuous Transition (Chapters 10-13)

Healthy organizations will seek to make on-going planning a high priority. They will seek to build cultures of continuous transition. In healthy organizations, the planning process ‘cycles.’ As the organization approaches the realization of the stated vision, it will seek to develop a new vision and will move forward with the missional, strategic, and tactical dimensions of planning, based on that new vision. This cycle continues, and the result will ultimately be the establishment of that culture of continuous transition.

Keeping the Visionary’s Periscope Above the Water Level

Entrepreneurial leaders are often characterized by having a great sense of vision. This will lead them to start new ventures and to take on tough turnaround projects. However, at some point the entrepreneur’s inevitable movement into the missional, stratetgic, and even tactical levels of the organization’s planning and execution could lead to an impairment of that vision. Often the leader gets stuck working in one of these dimensions and has a difficult time getting back to his or her visionary perspective.

Because the entrepreneurial leader’s sense of vision is so critically important to the long-term health of the organization, the entrepreneurial leader must avoid this trap, by keeping focus on the truly BIG PICTURE!.

An Organzation is an Organization

All organizations – whether business or congregational, volunteer or employee-staffed, for profit or not-for-profit – are subject to the same ‘laws’ of organizational health. The 4D planning process is transferable to any organizational setting. While most non-religious for-profit organizations will be, by nature, more bottom line results oriented than religious organizations, planning with intentionality must be a critical pursuit for non-religious organizations, as well.

Best Practices

Since the church is God’s institution designed for changing the world and turning it to Himself and since its leaders have a special delegation from God for directing the church with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is there any reason to justify giving the church less than the best we have to offer? Of course not!

God honors planning. He reserves the right, however, to change our plans and the course of our direction whenever He wants. Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. …” Because God honors planning, we must do the best job we can in planning—particularly for the Church!

Best Planning

The 4D planning paradigm provides an organization with a systematic approach to a relatively difficult process. Done well, the Four Dimensions process provides a flexible template for tailoring organizational planning to the uniqueness of the organization, bringing to the organization innovation, alignment, ownership and effectiveness.

The 4D planning process, then, is a tool that helps the organization identify and implement the very best it has to offer. When organizations are able to give the very best they have to offer, everybody wins.

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