Shaping and Managing a Culture of Vitality “When I started I viewed my job as three main areas: vision and strategy of the company, development and recruitment of the team to implement that vision and strategy, and the need to communicate all of the above. Within about four or five years I realized there was something that many of us do not understand when we take a leadership role: culture. Great companies have very strong and great cultures. A huge part of a leadership role is to drive the culture of the company and reinforce it.” – John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems “Neither culture or leadership, when one examines each closely, can really be understood by itself. In fact, one could argue that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture and that the unique talents of leaders is their ability to understand and work with culture.” – Edgar Schien If you have not changed culture, you have not changed anything. Dictionary Definition of Culture The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic or age group. Street Definition of Culture How we do things around here. Common Organizational Cultural Symbols and Artifacts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Language Type and volume of music Church sign Stories Rites, rituals and routines Written materials Metaphors Symbols Dress and physical appearance Buildings Technology (website, PowerPoint, etc) Heroes and Heroines Logos Office decor – Leadership; A Communication Perspective, Michael Hackman and Craig Johnson “Even if you have not yet identified your church’s culture, others have. Culture announces its identity throughout everything you do. The values of your culture—stated or unstated, thought out or intentional—shape the feel, behavior and attitude of a congregation more than anything else.” – Culture Shift; Transforming your Church from the Inside Out. Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro “Every church is a little culture in itself. Jesus intended these cultures to be distinct, transformational and even irresistible. Yet as we look across our congregations we often fail to see a transformation culture being birthed from healthy hearts. Instead, we see business as usual.” – Culture Shift, Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, on from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” -Joshua 4:1-9 How to Shape and Manage Culture Primary Means 1. Paying Attention: How do we systemically and persistently emphasize the values that undergird our church’s theology and mission? 2. Reactions to Critical Incidents: How does our church respond to stressful events? How to Shape and Manage Culture 3. Resource Allocation: How do we spend money? 4. Role Modeling: How do our leaders embody and pass on our culture to others? “If you want transformation, you must change who you are—how you think and what makes your heart beat. You must make sure the heart stuff comes first. A transformation of environment happens when church leaders embrace the shift in their heart, model it in their lives and passionately disciple their congregations to become likewise. You don’t make a culture shift simply by working harder at the things you are doing.” – Culture Shift, Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro How to Shape and Manage Culture 5. Rewards: How do we reward people? 6. Selection: How and whom do we hire or ask to serve in leadership? How to Shape and Manage Culture Secondary Means 1. Organizational Structure: How does our structure promote or prohibit health and growth? 2. Systems and Procedures: What systems and procedures do we have in place so that the ministry runs well? How to Shape and Manage Culture 3. Rites and Rituals: What do we do year after year that either increases or decreases our vitality? 4. Physical Space: How does our facility look, feel and smell? How to Shape and Manage Culture 5. Stories: What are the stories that get told? 6. Formal Statements: What is our language in terms of credos, mission statements, sayings or expressions?