- Everything is forbidden unless it is permitted. This inhibits innovation and creativity so that in "brainstorming" sessions with management one often hear the words "can't", "that's not the way we do things", etc. Non-management personnel rarely even suggest new ideas or concepts.
- Paternalism. Management knows what is best for the organizations or for clients.
- Plans are focused on Business Models. All new plans need to be presented with a business plan that details how this will create more profit, be more efficient, etc. Everything must be planned out in advance -- as if we know what the future holds.
- Top Down Decision-making Process. Decisions are made by top management and leave little room for those who are not "the deciders" in how to implement the vision, goals and objectives of the organization. Few innovations are ever adopted. To see the long-term results of this, just check out what is happening at General Motors.
- Command and Control Organizational Structure. As much as possible is centralized in a small group of people. The job of everyone else at the organization is essentially to follow the commands of "the deciders" who have a tendency to micro-manage. One of the results of this kind of structure is the inability of the organization to keep entrepreneurs, innovators and creative people.
- Everything is permitted unless it is forbidden. Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurs thrive in this kind of organization. New ideas are encouraged, new products and services developed and growth explodes.
- Egalitarianism. The customers know what is best. Those working on the frontlines know what is best. Listening is a hallmark of this kind of organization. The best ideas often come from those lowest on the totem pole.
- Be Prepared. Preparation is more important than planning -- since in the 21st century it is difficult to plan or tell the future. Preparation for organic growth is more important than planning. Positioning is crucial. The plan is developed as the organization grows and takes advantages of new opportunities.
- Bottom-Up Decision Making. Once everyone is committed to the vision, values and principles of engagement of the organization, decision-making is pushed down as low as possible on the corporate ladder. Strategies and tactics are largely determined by those doing the work -- as long as strategies and tactics are consistent with organizational vision, values and principles.
- Organizational Structure looks a lot more like a web than an organizational chart. People at all levels of the organization are invited into the decision-making process. Less command and control -- more flexibility and chaos. More like dis-organized organization.
In the Christian world, denominational structures may more often than not look more like the first model. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) looks more like the second. It is my belief that organizations who want to thrive and prosper in the 21st century must look move to an Abundance Management style.