Friday, April 23, 2010

The Values Are the Organization

A few years back I read The Starfish and the Spider - a great book on organizational theory. The book is about the rise and growing need for decentralized organizations (the authors call them leaderless organizations, but I think that is a misnomer).

The starfish represents the decentralized organization because a starfish has all it needs to live in each unit of its body. If one cuts the head off a spider it dies. Cut one of the legs off a starfish and it grows a new leg or becomes a whole new starfish.

There is a lot to be said about the book. I just want to identify one idea. In a decentralized organization the values are the organization. What links people together is not activities, or structures or events - all of some of those will exist. What links people together is a shared set of values.

I am wondering to what degree this reality applies to the life of the church and the development of Christian disciples.


  1. 失意人前,勿談得意事;得意人前,勿談失意事。........................................