Views from a strategic mirror

-New Models and Methods-

Self-Renewing Model: Continuous Rebirth and Improvement for Voluntary Organizations.

Remaining New – embracing change that keeps them aligned with their operating environments and fulfilling their expanding public service missions – is a key to achieving and sustaining Effectiveness, Efficiency and Transformed Organizations.

Old…New…These are two of the first words we ever learned.  Mostly, we learned that new is good.  Old is bad.  New has potential, has a future.  Old is worthless, junk, irrelevant.

At the time, we did not realize that New and Old are simply at opposite ends of a continuum matrix of two factors: condition and time.

“In mint condition,” sums up the highest condition of new.  Newly minted; shiny, fresh, valuable.  At this end “new” means fresh, recent, vigorous, changed for the better, or reinvented.  The opposite end of the condition continuum brings to mind associations of stale, no longer needed, outmoded, antique, obsolete, and disposable–near death.

“With it,””in step,” “cool” and “relevant,” are terms we associate with things that are current, modern, and in sync with the times.  This is the highest value of currency with whatever environment in which we may be operating or have as the center of interest.  To be “dated,” is to be totally out of sync.  To be dated is to be considered irrelevant—extraneous and immaterial.

Birth, growth, maturation, decline and death–the cycle is ancient and universal.  It is the subject of countless fables and myths from distant times.  Finding out where the organization must go and how it should get there, constantly studying ways to improve its processes, changing outmoded concepts and approaches to ensure regeneration and growth–the life cycle never ends.  If it does, death is the inevitable result.  Only one thing holds death at bay–birth.  Only birth can conquer death, not the old things (archaism) again, but of some things new.

SR_Dissertation_Connors_20May2013_15As with our bodies, long-term organizational survival depends on a continuous recurrence of birth to nullify the unremitting partial deaths our organizations face in their ever-changing operating environments from competition, technological advances, and market saturation.  And, we now know that from victories, the seeds of ruin can spring.  Victorious countries continue to prepare for the last war.  Organizations continue product lines or services long past their prime.  Even organizations that have worked hard to become “quality managed” organizations can and have fallen back from hard gained high ground.  For most, when corporate death closes in, there is no salvation except dismemberment (acquisition), and rebirth as a reinvigorated component of another organization.

What is required to stave off inevitable decline or death is birth over again, regeneration, rebirth.  Organizational strategic planning is essential, but not enough.  Continuous improvement of all processes is essential, but leaders who are blind to other life sustaining essentials can emphasize efficiency to the exclusion of other essential processes.  And, leaders can bring about change so disruptive or misguided that it destroys even as it breaks free from the outmoded past.  Successful, continuous rebirth requires a fertile organizational environment in which promising concepts and ideas can be conceived and nurtured to maturity.  Even as processes and services are honed to ensure they make their strongest contribution to renewed organizational strength, their replacements are taking shape, form and function behind them (Connors, 1997).

Voluntary organizations must change in those management domains that contribute both to their “newness” and that enhance Effectiveness, Efficiency and Transformation.

Next: Organizational Newness

Suggested citation:

Connors, T. D. (2019). Views from a strategic mirror [A strategic directions profiling and self-assessment tool for charitable-philanthropic-nonprofit organizations created based on the self-renewing management model.]. In NPO crossroads: management domains and outcomes. Retrieved from BelleAire Press, LLC:

© Copyright 2019 T. D. Connors