Shaping and Managing a Culture of Vitality

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
Type and volume of music
Church sign
Rites, rituals and routines
Written materials
Dress and physical appearance
Technology (website, PowerPoint, etc)
Heroes and Heroines
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
– 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
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
3. Resource Allocation: How do we spend
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
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
Secondary Means
1. Organizational Structure: How does our
structure promote or prohibit health and
2. Systems and Procedures: What systems and
procedures do we have in place so that the
ministry runs well?
How to Shape and Manage
3. Rites and Rituals: What do we do year after
year that either increases or decreases our
4. Physical Space: How does our facility look, feel
and smell?
How to Shape and Manage
5. Stories: What are the stories that get told?
6. Formal Statements: What is our language in
terms of credos, mission statements, sayings or