Healthy and Unhealthy Organizations

In a healthy organization (corporation, school, church, etc.), the leadership is selected or elected based on some sort of merit by a group comprised of all or part of those they will lead. Both parties are accountable to each other.

On the other hand, in an unhealthy organization (dictatorship, cult, toxic workplace), the leadership is self-appointed or privately/secretly appointed, may have an insular support group, and most likely the vast majority of the organization ruled by them with no cross flow of accountability.

These dynamics can exist in nearly every type of group: families, sports teams, HOAs. It’s pretty clear where the 2x2s fall. I’ve found this to be a very objective way to view it. In fact, I’m realizing I saw this 3 years ago when we began contemplating our exit.

Our overseer was taking away our friend’s part in meeting. The overseer was known to have said that some people in our meeting may be offended by our friend taking part. So, we asked everyone how they felt. None were offended. We presented the overseer with this information, as well as other points. It made no difference. The target and reason constantly moved. The overseer only wanted “submission” to himself and the “other responsible brothers”. Referring to our friend: “If he can’t submit to the workers, how can he submit to God?”

We were left with no choice but to exit. Those that are now demanding accountability in the wake of the abuse crisis are either being ignored, gaslit, excommunicated or are leaving.

Here’s my larger point: ONLY A HEALTHY ORGANIZATION AS DESCRIBED ABOVE CAN REFORM. Because of the power structure of an UNHEALTHY ORGANIZATION, it is not POSSIBLE for it to reform. There is no means for it to happen. None.

Changes in a healthy organization must be orchestrated from the top with OR without impetus from the body. An unhealthy organization will simply continue as usual, and will lie, cover up, avoid, strong arm and/or placate to maintain status quo.

By  E. A. Carter