Its an interesting problem, and in Australia anyway it exists in more than a few organisations. Perhaps an (un)intended result is that the harder the fist is squeezed the more aikidoka run out through the fingers, and often its the talented rather than the mediocre doing so.
Stanley Pranin recently published an article on the Aikido Journal
touching on this topic (and a few raw nerves judging by at least one comment). Were it not from probably Aikido's most well known historian it might be labelled reactionary. Here are some quotes I hope not to out of context.
I think I can safely say that few of today's leaders are focused on the philosophy and technique of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Their main concern is the solidification/expansion of the organization and its smooth operation
My closing thought is this. Don't look to Japan or any organization for leadership in aikido or any other field of endeavor.
Still chewing on that one,
PS Peter, having enjoyed your writings online I was sorry not to have the opportunity to hear you speak and teach whilst you were recently downunder