In more than one of his books, Jim Collins writes of successful organizations having a Culture of Discipline. In Great By Choice, Collins remarks, “Discipline, in essence, is consistency in action. Discipline is not the same as regimentation…Discipline is not the same as hierarchical obedience or adherence to bureaucratic rules…” Giving great examples, Collins spends entire chapters in Good to Great, and Great By Choice, helping readers to understand discipline in an organization.
Discipline is not strictly following a set of rules or performing out of fear of the boss. True discipline in an organization requires independence at every level. True discipline requires an independence to avoid and steer away from those ideals and practices that would draw a person or organization into conformity with other worldviews. True organizational discipline requires individual self-discipline at every level of the organization.
Of course, this does not mean everyone has the total freedom to do his/her own thing. But if everyone is on the same page, with the same objective in mind, desiring the same outcome, then true discipline will always bring the desired result in a very effective and complementary system. Bureaucracy slows down effectiveness and production. Remove the bureaucracy and the positional leaders and you can create a culture of discipline in your organization that surpasses expectations.
With the right people in place, any organization will be filled with individuals who have the self-discipline to advance the progress of the organization. An organization with a true culture of discipline will grow more toward the discipline culture. Organizations that have adopted a culture of discipline, have even reported their “slackers” have stepped up or moved on to other organizations of their own accord.
Creating a culture of discipline is not easy, and it will take time. As with any major change in an organization, the desire to fall back into old cultures and habits is not only easy but instinctive. It takes self-restraint and organizational restraint to remain in the culture of discipline. And the rewards are irreplaceable for years ahead.
Remember discipline is consistency in action. What freedoms can you create for your members or employees that will help you create a culture where everyone desires the same end result – a heartfelt desire for effective accomplishment of your mission?
Read more about creating a culture of discipline in Jim Collins books, Good to Great and Great by Choice or contact George Yates at SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.
Creating a Culture of Discipline