When Fishhook Began to Flounder

July 9, 2015

Something was off. Fishhook, a team that for years relished a good-natured and supportive culture, started seeing people nip at one another. Side conversations and post-meeting skirmishes were becoming more common than usual and a general sense of unrest seemed to be settling over the group. Questions grew.

At a time when we were on a new client winning streak, why was I distracted stomping out hot-spots? Why was our merry band out of harmony? With so much balance sheet success and big ministry wins, why was I so frustrated coming to work? And why were the people around me frustrated as well?

Some quiet time away, time in God’s word and sessions journaling revealed a disappointing truth. If organizational health is an aim, we were way off the mark. In a period of just six months we had gone from our worst month ever (measured on the balance sheet and P&L statement) to a record-setting level, we could not have envisioned. I came to realize that with the increase in harvest came a burden we could not overcome … without change.

Enter Kevin Wilson, Fishhook’s CFO-for-hire. For most of Fishhook’s 12 years, Kevin has brought his business, financial and operations mindset to help keep Fishhook on track. At my invitation, Kevin would perform an operations assessment - poking and prodding around our team and operations to find out what’s working, what’s not and why - to help chart a course toward organizational health.

I challenged myself and our team. Would we be brave enough to go through the process, coachable enough to respond to Kevin’s findings and strong enough to follow through on his recommendations? Unless we wanted Fishhook to flounder, the answer had to be yes on every count.

It was humbling. It was hard. It was heart-breaking.

Opening up to Kevin’s operations assessment revealed the quirky things about my personality,  that were charming when Fishhook was just six people, were now debilitating. My dislike for consistent processes, my love for a lack of organizational structure and my comfort with gray areas, at one time made us a nimble, free-spirited entrepreneurial start-up. But with our team count now into the teens and our workload gains into triple digit growth, my quirks were quickly fueling our quarrels. People were overworked, the team unstructured and processes undocumented. It was time for change.

In it all, I could feel God lead, because that’s what He does. For me, it was time for fresh obedience because that’s what I’ve seen work.

It was time. New roles. New leaders. New structure. And a new level of candid conversations.

More to come.

 

Want to learn more about rising to the challenge when leadership gets messy? Click below and watch our FREE leadership webinar. 

Webinar_October_Blog_CTA

Author
Evan McBroom

Founding Partner