Encompass World Partners
With over one hundred missionaries working alongside national workers in thirty-plus countries, Encompass World Partners is committed to deploying disciple-making teams to plant and grow healthy churches among the least-reached of the world.
Recognizing the truth in the old maxim, “what got us here won’t get us there”, Dr. Dave Guiles, Executive Director, was working on a restructuring plan to position Encompass to meet the new realities of the next generation of missionaries. Even as he was shaping up plans for the global organization, he knew the operations on the home front needed to be addressed as well.
Dr. Guiles engaged Alan Weisenberger to do an assessment of Encompass Operations. Starting with a Benefits Realization exercise with Dr. Guiles and his Operations leadership team, Alan helped them create a shared understanding of how each aspect of Operations aligned to contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization.
From that exercise, several key processes were identified based on their expected importance for successfully achieving those strategic objectives. Through further discussions, reviewing documents, and interviewing staff, these processes were analyzed more thoroughly to create process maps and identify potential improvements. Viewing each process from a strategic, enterprise-level perspective helped staff understand how their daily work impacted others and contributed to advancing the organization’s mission.
“Alan challenged us to look at everything with a critical eye for actual results rather than desired results.” says Blaine Horst, Director of Operations. “We had several ‘Ah-ha’ moments when we realized how our actions, or inactions, were having unintended consequences.”
As the project progressed, the dependencies between Operations and the structure of the global organization became increasingly apparent. Alan worked with Dr. Guiles to expedite the shaping of the global organizational structure and integrate the Operations organization into it.
The resulting matrix structure provides stronger support for staff by linking them more directly with others with similar skills and responsibilities. At the same time, it provides the necessary local support and accountability to assure staff is working appropriately within their cultural context.
“Alan contributed in a significant way by helping us consider how our admin teams functioned internally, how they interacted with one another, and how they interfaced with our global staff,” observes Dr. Guiles. “As a result, we felt empowered to make some big changes to our organizational structure, changes we feel will result in better stewardship of our resources and a clearer ministry focus for our staff. While some of these decisions reflected what I felt instinctively would be good for Encompass, Alan’s research provided more objective data and his recommendations confirmed and sharpened the decisions we reached.”
But the structural changes are only part of the equation for success. The project also generated a number of recommendations to adjust the culture of the organization for greater effectiveness and generational relevance. These will take longer to implement, but the leadership of Encompass recognizes that structure alone won’t create the transformation that’s necessary for a healthy future.