When things are going really well in the organization, we tend to coast...
- We don't pay attention to mission-drift that is happening in individuals or even entire departments.
- We don't heed warning signs that are all-too-obvious later when looking in the rear-view mirror.
- We don't ask enough questions.
- We rush spending and hiring decisions.
- We delay necessary firing decisions.
- We feel invincible--so we reject all criticism, even if we know there is a kernel of truth included.
- We often neglect important relationships. Since velocity and intimacy are enemies--many times a fast-growing organization can result in broken relationships.
- We stop being innovative. Why? Because we don't need to innovate. Growth is happening without it.
In a recent article in Fast Company magazine, Dan Heath and Chip Heath put it this way: "When you're getting rich, it's pretty easy to sooth the ol' gut. If you need a rationalization, your mind will provide one."
For a church, you may not be getting rich, but your numbers might be trending up and to the right. Attendance is going crazy, offerings are increasing weekly, momentum is on your side.
I've been there. For my first 13 years at Granger we averaged 23% growth year after year after year. I didn't see it at the time, but hind sight is a wonderful thing. Now I can see clearly how I sometimes fell into these traps.
Have you seen this happen in a fast-growing organization? I'd love to hear your story...
P.S. Tomorrow I'm going to talk about the traps that abound when we are not growing.