Thursday, June 10, 2010

Organizational Dynamics and its Applicability to Fellowship Settings

In an organization, especially big ones, there is what we call top management. However, most of the times, it doesn’t end there. There are middle management, and, on certain cases, low management. Since I’ve been in three colleges, either as a part time faculty or as a student, let me illustrate this in a tertiary school setting. In a College/University, for example, there is what we call the Board of Regents or Trustees or Directors (depending on the setting of the school). One of the members of the board is the College/University president, and under his/her position is at least 2 Vice Presidents. These are the Top Level management. Then, there goes the Academic Deans and Directors (for non teaching positions. Although there are colleges/universities that use the title “Dean” even in non-academic positions like Student Affairs office). This can be considered as middle level management, depending on what books and references you are reading (and depending on the attitude of people with this position; this is a humor though). Under Academic Deans there are departments. Normally, these departments are programs. For example, there is one Dean of College of Engineering. If the College/University is big, they can have departments like Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Management Engineering, Industrial Engineering, etc. If this is the case, the chairpersons (or heads) assigned in this department are considered Low management. You don’t go directly to the Top Management. For efficiency’s sake, you go to your own department head. If you have problems within your department, it is wise to fix it before it reaches to the next level. This is not cover-up; this is your department chairperson or head DOING HIS JOB WELL.

Sometimes, people go immediately to the top management. To some extent and cases, this is tolerable, especially if what you’ll give to the top management is good news. However, there are people who go straight to the top management as a form of harassment, bullying, and manipulation. I often shook my head when I see and encounter people like this. Honestly, I just hope that this people should never be given any position. If they have one already, I wish they should never have that position in the first place.

Now, let’s move this same principle into another setting: interpersonal relationships inside non-stock, non-profit, non-government organizations. There are problems that can be solved and negotiated internally. No, it’s not compromising. No, it’s not cover up. This is fixing the problems before it can reach the top. It’s sad that there are people who make certain problems soooooo public. Okay, maybe you’ll give Achan as an example. “Achan in the camp” as we put it. Well, Achan’s sin was revealed because God Himself revealed it to Joshua. In addition, the Israelites lost to Ai. No one squealed it.
Recently, I have witnessed a Christian pair broke up their relationship. Guy did something wrong. Guy left the girl. Girl cried. Yes, her unbelieving friends told her to do things like date another guy, get even with the guy, etc. Yes, her unbelieving friends really hate the nerve of the guy. However, girl disagreed. She didn’t do all the things her unbelieving friends strongly advised her to do so. She’s hurt, yet she remained kind. Months later, the guy admitted his faults and asked her forgiveness. No one in her or his circles knows what happened in those previous months. It was fixed. They’re now in each other’s arms again...proverbially.

Yeah, I know. That pair still has a long way to go, but this should still serve as a lesson that we can solve things without going immediately to authority figures. Let’s avoid too much squealing and kissing and telling: if you do just that, you just revealed what character you have as a person. Besides, you’ll just feed the rumor mongers (be it conscious and unconscious rumor mongers) what they wanted; they must never be fed.

We can solve problems without immediately involving authority figures. This is possible only if we have the maturity, the right attitude, and a ready heart to forgive if mistakes were made. Is this cover up? No. This is more of cleaning your house before your neighbors can notice that your house is a mess. Is this bypassing authority figures and not making them “belong”? A big NO! In fact, this is helping authority figures by minimizing their problems by solving your own. Yes, authority figures will be there for you, after all, most of them are fatherly. However, give yourself a sense of dignity and self-respect by trying to solve certain problems yourself first.

Have a good day, my friends and brothers!

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