Structures for Equipping and Mobilizing in Organizations

Structures for Equipping and Mobilizing in Organizations

Structures for Equipping and Mobilizing in Organizations

Social science offers helpful insight on the role different spaces for connection play in the formation of people. Connection (to a relationship or an organization) are not “all or nothing”. We belong in different ways. It benefits our leadership when we understand these different ways of connection and the function that each space offers to equip people for participation in God’s work through our organizations.

Intimate Space

We are made for connection with others. Intimate space is the closest space that we are known by others. This is not an exclusive quadrant dedicated solely to a marital partnership, we see examples of this with life long friends and community members. This space offers a sense of vulnerability and openness the other spaces are not intended to provide.

Personal Space

Our families and close friends provide us a place of belonging. They provide us the opportunity to reenforce formative truths that are revealed by God and those in our intimate space of connection. These are appropriately closed to those outside the circle. Trust has been forged over time through shared experiences.

Social Space

The frequency of our presence in a space provides a level of connection to others. We may recognize a person or know them casually. These spaces provide a field of opportunity to be drawn into closer proximity (personal space) as time and interactions increase. Examples of this would be the gym, a co-working space, local church coffee hours, etc.

Public Space

Wherever we gather for a common purpose, we are connecting with others in a public space. We are connected with others when we cheer for the same sports team, send our children to the same school, or worship in the same congregation irregardless of how well we know one another.

Considerations for Your Organization

Most of the organizations we interact with on a daily basis cater to the public, social, and sometimes personal ways of relating. There is a tendency to over emphasize the importance specific spaces, especially when it comes to driving goals and impact through an organization.

What if our metrics shifted away from performance alone towards the formation of our people?

Would our leadership accept that in certain seasons of life, a person may need to prioritize one space over another? What would have to change in our current structures if rather than putting pressure on meeting static indicators alone, we also provided environments that take into account the dynamic aspect of our people's lives, and enable them to pursue healthy formation in all of their relational spaces?

People belong in many different ways. How do we attend to their formation more systemically and less linearly?

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