The 5 S’s: How to Effectively Shift an Organization’s Structure

One of my greatest joys is to mentor, and in turn, learn from emerging leaders. I was recently invited to speak to a cohort of students in ministry and business. Throughout the intensive, we covered a variety of topics ranging from the importance of outcomes to organizational structures. I found myself circling back often to share insights from management guru, Peter Drucker. Both in my personal leadership growth and OneHope’s journey, his insights have proven to be effective. No matter whether you’ve walked the leadership path for decades or you’re just starting out, we can all learn something from, what I call, the 5S’s, the foundation for any good management system. 

To have a solid foundation, there must be a clearly defined mission, vision, and core values. As a leader, it’s important to not only internalize them for yourself, but make sure team members recall them as well. If you’re not all on the same page as to where you’re headed, it’s going to be a very long and arduous journey.

Mission, vision, and values directly relate to strategy. My strategic philosophy is outcome-based which means you begin with the end in mind. If you don’t know the ultimate destination, no amount of organizational implementation will accomplish what matters. When strategy is clear and comprehensive, the leadership and team need effective structures. This determines how the multiple responsibilities of an organization will work in harmony to manage the strategy. But proper systems are needed to execute and measure the work across every level of the structure.  Particular skills are needed to operate the systems that generate effective work. The right staff can now be fulfilled as they operate in their highest and best skill set.  

Just like dominos cascade in order, the 5S’s must also follow a specific path. A trap leaders often fall into is immediately making staff changes and expecting instant improvement. However, the problem usually isn’t the people, it’s a lack of cohesion between everything. Several years ago, OneHope shifted our vision strategy to respond to this complex, changing world. We created OneHope’s ministry design process, using the 5S’s as a guide. This roadmap can be a catalyst for your company too. This intentional shifting takes patience and energy, but it’s what allows us to grow more effectively in our journey.

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Rob Hoskins is the President of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004 he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.7 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

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