Monday, 4 October 2010

There is a time for all things . . .

Vision Statement. Corporate Mission. IT Evangelists. The business world has been stealing religious terminology with glee for many years now. Perhaps it’s time to learn a few deeper lessons from those in religious leadership too.

The entire editorial team of HR Case Studies team has recently been watching a series of DVDs from last year’s Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Chicago. Willow Creek is one of the most attended churches in North America. Each year Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit endeavours to:
Transform Christian Leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration for the sake of the local church
And the speakers are slightly better known than you might expect from a church gathering! It’s not Doris from the Mothers Union or Akela from the Brownies that accepts the invitation to speak at Willow Creek: it’s Jack Welch, Gary Hamel, Tony Blair and Bono!

That in itself is worthy of thought. How can a church attract such eminent leaders to speak at its annual leadership conference?

But Bill Hybels (founder of Willow Creek Community Church) seems to be one of those individuals whose wisdom and insight into leadership extends far beyond the pews.

Try his “What season are you in?” question for starters. Although his question is primarily intended to be answered by church leaders, his categorisation of the various phases of an enterprise into Growth, Consolidation, Transition, Malaise or Reinvention is one which can equally be applied to businesses.

Or to us as individuals.

What season are you in?


  1. I don’t think I’m alone in finding myself in different phases depending on what aspect of my life I consider. Bit like the seasons (due to the alleged impacts of global warming) they are changeable but never boring!

    Work: transition with tendencies for Malaise and occasional periods of growth/reinvention

    Family: Constant growth (with associated growing pains)

    Personal relationships: Due to environmental factors the seasons are constantly shifting.

    What season are you in Mr Editor?


  2. I've read some inspirational things about Willow Creek and Pastor Hybels. I've even seen some videos of the services there; it looks like they have state of the art church video equipment. I bet services there are unreal. Not only that, but I love this idea of his, what season are we in. I'd have to say I'm probably in fall, as I feel I am going through a lot of changes and needs lots of rest, similarly as leaves change and go away until spring and return as new and fresh leaves; and as animals prepare themselves for hibernation.