Monday, September 15, 2008

The Complexity of Leading Churches

One of my former lecturers has been involved in writing the following report:

Contrary and Congruent Views of Leadership and Management in the Australian Social Economy.

For those who are overseeing a church it has good insights and is well worth the read even if it is not all relevant. I thought I would post some of the things that stood out-mainly because I agree with them.

Managing an organisation or program in the Social Economy is more difficult than in the for-profit sector because:

1. There are more issues / variables to be managed;
2. Each of the issues has the same or greater uncertainty; and
3. The uncertainty extends over longer timeframes.

Take revenue as an example. For-profit organisations generate cash from the sale of products and services, and the utilisation of debt and equity. Organisations in the Social Economy have these options available to them, but in addition may also utilise grants from philanthropic organisations, donations from the public, government funding as well as fundraising events and activities.

Managing an organisation’s human resources is also more difficult. Not only do non-profit organisations need to manage all the same technical and psychological issues that forprofit organisations must, but they have to do so while paying up to 30% less in salary. The task of managing volunteers creates added pressure and complexity.Pg 26
This may sound like the social sector blowing it's own trumpet but I do think there is truth in the observation. Do you agree?

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