Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Jesus couldn’t have made it much clearer. Without being organizationally healthy, a leadership team—regardless of its specific purpose—will struggle to communicate in clear and Christ-like ways.
De-Babel Your Team
In the Tower of Babel account we see folks initially communicating clearly with each other. Then confusion sets in. Leadership teams with substantial room for growth in organizational health might all speak the same language. But a lack of clarity in answering several key questions (like “Why does our organization exist?”) can figuratively send people their separate ways as individual goals supersede team results. Growth in organizational health helps reduce the Babel effect on your team.
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?!” “This saying is hard! Who can accept it?!” Jesus didn’t merely smile and say “Oh, never mind. It’s no big deal.” Jesus spoke the truth in love. He faced conflict courageously and charitably, acknowledging it as a way to clarify his teaching. Organizationally healthy leadership teams establish what we call “conflict norms”: clear rules of engagement that can turn naturally-occurring divergence of opinion into grace-filled opportunities to refine your team’s vision of its work, mission and ministry.
There’s Teaching, and Then There’s Teaching
Not all organizations are deeply involved with the teaching mission of the Church. All organizations, though, rely on consistent communication about pressing priorities to keep staff and volunteer leaders focused—avoiding mission-creep. (Mission-creep is the phenomenon whereby everything sounds like a great idea until soon 1,001 great ideas have the whole crew wondering which end is up.) Organizational health helps teams be reminded of what is most important — right now — so they can move in a single, shared, and compelling direction. And that's as beautiful as it is effective.