Two organizational changes that mattered

Yesterday I had the chance to have lunch with an American colleague charged with reaching dozens of colleges and thousands of students in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As we were talking about organizational change, he suggested that, in his 25 years of college ministry, out of all the changes pushed down from on high there were two that really stood out as being helpful to him on his mission.

1. Local leader empowerment – He described how local leaders became more empowered through the removal of a layer in the organizational structure.   The changes resulted…

  • in greater responsibility for strategic planning
  • authority over how team members under his care worked (structure and vacation etc…)
  • greater adaptability to local challenges – it was no longer expected that pre-packaged ideas and plans from schools in other states would necessarily ‘work’.  He could make the call on choosing what resources and strategies to employ.


  • increased motivation
  • increased effectiveness

2. Increased emphasis on volunteers – He described that if he were to rely on full-time employees to get the mission done, the mission would never be fulfilled.  Changing models and organizational policy to allow for formal commitments outside of 40-50 hours a week have helped to reach a much bigger scope.

It’s interesting to see how organizational change is perceived by those carrying out the task of reaching students.


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