Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization

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InterVarsity Press, Jul 11, 2017 - Business & Economics - 240 pages

Institutions matter. They give us an opportunity to have an influence for the common good that far outlasts us. But we often assume that institutions are at cross-purposes with dynamic communities, with personal vocational calling, and with core human values. We view them somewhat cynically as, perhaps, a necessary evil. Institutions, far from that, remain essential to human flourishing. They are the very means by which communities thrive, individual vocations are fulfilled, and society is changed for the good. As a result, we all need to learn how to work effectively within institutions. That is just what Gordon Smith provides. He unpacks the core of institutional intelligence—the wisdom of working effectively within an organization. At the same time, he shows how team leaders, directors, executives, board members, key stakeholders, and employees can avoid what is often their greatest source of stress on the job—working with the institutional character of their organizations. Focusing on the non-profit sector, Smith unlocks the essential elements of how institutions function in a productive, healthy manner. Church staff, educators, and those in service agencies can all thrive by understanding these dynamics instead of fighting against them. By developing this essential vocational capacity, we and those around us can not only fulfill ourselves but also a mission that is larger than we are.



1 The Meaning of Institutions
2 Mission Clarity Part 1 Affirming the Institutional Charism
3 Mission Clarity Part 2 Discerning Institutional Identity and Purpose
4 Governance That Works Part 1 Making the Right Things Happen
5 Governance That Works Part 2 Finding Wisdom Making Decisions
6 The Right People Recruiting Developing Empowering
7 A Generative Institutional Culture Fostering Hopeful Realism
8 Financial Equilibrium Making Economic Sustainability a Priority
Appendix A Boards and Presidents
Appendix B Institutions Are Good for the Soul
Appendix C An Institutional Intelligence Essential Reading List
Also Available from Gordon T Smith
Praise for Institutional Intelligence
About the Author
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About the author (2017)

Gordon T. Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of many books, including Courage and Calling, Called to Be Saints, Spiritual Direction, Consider Your Calling, and The Voice of Jesus.

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