The organization you lead experiences the impact of external and internal forces. The organizational leader-local church or nonprofit-is responsible to pay attention and learn from entities that will have some level of influence in and on the organization. Your leadership style must accommodate opportunities to learn from these forces and then implement the lesson learned throughout your organization (Phipps and Burbach). The external forces influencing an organization include the cultural environment, politics, economics, similar organizations and individual persons interacting with your specific organization. Your organization functions as a living entity within a diverse environment that contributes to the direction of your organization.
Let’s consider these two organizations.
Smith and Lewis (2011) conducted a study on organizing and argue that external forces are frequent, competitive, and serve a purpose for the sustainability of the organization. Therefore, the external forces impacting the local church or NPO are useful tools to advance the health of your organization. How can the church leader, church planter or NPO leader see these external forces as learning opportunities?
Phipps, Kelly A., & Burbach, Mark. (2010). Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector: Opportunities for Research. Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management.11(2), 137-155.
Smith, W. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2011). Toward a Theory of Paradox: A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Organizing. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 381-403.