Critical success factors make a difference
by Terry Camsey, Major –
What factors would you consider to be individually essential to the accomplishment of the Army’s purpose and collectively adequate to insure the victory? It’s a tough question and one that almost guarantees different answers from different people.
I speak from experience, since this was the exact question asked of the Territorial Strategic Planning Committee (TSPC) some two or three years ago, relative to “Vision 2000 & Beyond…” It was asked of each category of the vision from the perspective of how THQ could become the ideal support system to the field. The TSPC were looking primarily at ways they could programmatically resource and facilitate the vision.
At the same time, THQ department heads were exploring how to help the field accomplish the vision through the way THQ does business. (I should explain that, at all the divisional visioning rallies, the number one question raised was, “How will this change the way you at THQ do business?”)
Back to the question…it’s a very difficult one, since it forces us to go beyond the cosmetic or the familiar to really get at the nub of the issue. What really is individually indispensable to accomplishment of our purpose? And, what aggregation of such statements is collectively adequate? We are not talking about long, convoluted lists of methods, but of principles that—possibly now forgotten—underlay those methods originally. What’s the old couplet?
Methods are many, principles few,
Methods often vary, principles never do!
It is true that methods must change if we are to remain relevant, but before dropping any activity we need to ask: what it was originally designed to accomplish; whether it is still effective in achieving that aim; whether it can be made effective; or, whether—if not—there are more effective ways to implement the same principle. A principle is something that remains constant regardless of the passing of time or context.
So back to the question: What factors would you consider to be individually essential to the accomplishment of the Army’s purpose and collectively adequate to insure the victory? How would you answer it? Here is one suggestion. The critical success factors are:
A consistent, close relationship with God.
This involves frequent communion with God through prayer, seeking his will, wisdom and Holy Spirit power.
Unswerving obedience to the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
Seeking out the lost, sharing the Gospel, persuading them to accept Christ and discipling them. Also, loving God, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, and caring for them.
Effective relationship building with the unsaved.
Having regard to, and respect for, cultural differences.
Recognition and rapid response to the changing environments and communities in which we minister.
Adapting methods to more effectively reach the unsaved, while maintaining the integrity of the Gospel.
A structure that optimally facilitates accomplishment of mission and ministry.
To do with the way we are organized and function, including processes, procedures, policies, practices and programs…eliminating all that hinders.
Adequate resources to support mission and ministry.
To do with use of purse (money), people, property and possessions…in ways directly linked to accomplishment of the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
You may not agree with these, but I challenge you to think them through for yourself. In fact, why not ask them of your corps vision? What factors would you consider to be individually essential to the accomplishment of your corps vision and collectively adequate to insure the victory?
Try it with your corps council—it has the power to focus the corps on the few things that, done well, will move you in the direction you have (through your vision statement) affirmed the Lord is leading you. I dare you!
P.S. Just in case you are wondering, the TSPC did reach consensus on what they considered to be the critical success factors related to the challenge placed before them!