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Businesses ask: Do we need headquarters?

After the Corona Virus and new work at home opportunities, many corporations see less and less use for a physical headquarters. The Church of Christ should also consider this question. Truth is, many of the denominations which have a Headquarters are completely out of touch or even at odds with those they claim to represent on the local level.

Would I post a portion of an article like this? Because the church should be able to learn from the business world if it can and should. After all, Jesus had much to say about stewardship. Likewise, he mentioned that the sons of the world are for their own generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16:8). 

More importantly, Jesus is Lord of all things - that includes business and commerce. This is the reason he could advise his hearers to "make friends with money." (Luke 16:9) But I digress.

A church building, likewise, is something which is unnecessary and can even be a hindrance. But not in every case, I must freely admit.

From a recent Inc Magazine, for your enjoyment:

Many start ups are, of course, launched out of home offices or proverbial garages. However, there's usually an assumption that, if your start-up is successful, you'll need to rent office space to continue to grow the business.

However, one of the cool things about our wired-up business world is that almost every function that a small company needs can be handled remotely or contracted out. Since that's so, why spend money on corporate headquarters?

Take, for example, Fractured Prune Doughnuts, a quick-service doughnut franchise that's rapidly grown from 1 to 25 outlets. Despite what you'd naturally assume given a company of that size, CEO Dan Brinton has only two corporate employees on his payroll.

Rather than paying for posh headquarters and flying potential franchisees to headquarters for meetings, Brinton brings his "corporate headquarters" (essentially him and his laptop) to wherever it's needed.

In 2014, Brinton spent 223 days on the road meeting with franchisees to launch new stores. This has allowed him to spend as much time as possible assisting franchisees with their openings, while avoiding the hassle and expense of managing a physical office.

In addition, because Brinton needn't worry about relocation costs, he can contract work to the most experienced professionals (production, marketing, PR, etc.) regardless of where those professionals prefer to live.

This allows Brinton to focus on franchisee success and his vision for the company, rather than office management and politics. It also ensures that the growth of his company "is organic and not merely growth for its own sake."

Brinton makes an important point here, because once established, corporate headquarters have a tendency to take on a life of their own.

I've worked with many companies whose palatial headquarters are full of figureheads and bureaucrats whose primary job is proving their own importance by vetoing good ideas and road-blocking productive work.

Although much of the business world still considers fancy headquarters to be a sign of success, a big corporate headquarters only represents "growth" in the sense that a tumor represents growth.

In most companies, the disappearance of corporate headquarters would be a net gain in productivity because the real work (design, manufacturing, sales, support, etc.) takes place elsewhere...


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Replies (1)
  • For a community with "headquarters" found within and not without, our day-to-day remains unchanged.  We function in opposite manner, where "growth" is multiplication of smallness.  We honor Christ in one another, cherishing the resonance of His voice expressed in each and every one.  What is YOURS to share?  What are YOU hearing?  The love of God compels from within, not our beckoning or the compulsion of others.  Don't hold it back or it spoils.  Expect more to flow as you do!

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