Culture Development – Rx For Expansion




The culture of an organization reflects the values of the organization and will drive everything inside the organization. In fact, I will assert that culture is the most dynamic force in an organization because it is the outward expression of the organization’s internal values that are held as firm convictions by the people inside the organization. Emphasizing the organizational strength and power of culture, Dr. Sam Chand, author of Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code, says “Culture will eat vision for lunch!” I believe this statement by Dr. Chand because everything in an organization will ultimately revolve around the written and unwritten culture code inside the organization. Understanding the unseen powerful dynamic of culture is extremely important for faith-based leaders if they desire to build an organization that glorifies God, benefits others, and endures in the marketplace. I believe faith-based leaders can only effectively do this by intentionally developing the organization’s culture code with practical faith-based values communicated in the make-it-happen language of the marketplace.

Culture Development Clarifies Core Ideology And Builds An Organization That Lasts

In their book, Built To Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras write, “Core ideology defines the enduring character of an organization – its self-identity that remains consistent through time and transcends product / market life cycles, technological breakthroughs, management fads, and individual leaders. Core ideology provides the bonding glue that holds an organization together as it grows, decentralizes, diversifies, expands globally, and attains diversity within.” Core ideology that is well defined within the organization’s core values and also well reflected in the organization’s culture will effectively empower organizational leaders to build the organization in a way that will stand the tests of time. This is true because core values provide the character definition of the organization and culture provides the life expression of the organization’s character as it exists through time.

Developing Culture Builds The Internal Foundation Required For External Growth And Expansion

Any farmer knows that a seed can only reproduce after its own kind. It would be completely foolish for a farmer to plant watermelon seeds and expect to harvest tomatoes because watermelons can only reproduce watermelons. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus further affirms the principles of reproduction in the kingdom of God by stating, “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs never grow on thorn bushes, nor grapes on bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” These principles of reproduction affect all forms of reproduction including organizational reproduction; therefore, before an organization starts reproducing itself through growth and expansion, it is absolutely imperative that the organization’s core values are clearly defined and appropriately reflected in its culture because the organization will simply reproduce after its own kind. Noble, strong, God-honoring, people-loving organizations will reproduce noble, strong, God-honoring, people-loving teams, departments, branches, divisions, regions, and new corporate entities.  

To help organizations effectively develop the organizational culture that fully reflects the organization’s core values, I recommend the following 4 practical steps to developing culture:

  1.  Clearly define an organizational core values statement based upon a timeless enduring core ideology that can be effectively communicated to the people inside the organization over and over and over and over again.
  2. Write, tell, and archive well scripted organizational stories that effectively communicate the core values of the organization to the people inside the organization and tell those stories over and over and over and over again.
  3. Strategically design frequent celebrations and planned events that encourage people inside the organization to celebrate the core values of the organization over and over and over and over again.
  4. Conduct semi-annual culture surveys to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s life expression of the organization’s core values through the perceptions and feedback of every person inside the organization and to make appropriate life expression adjustments that continually clarify the core values over and over and over and over again.

Thank you and have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Culture Development – Rx For Expansion Copyright 2013, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Culture Development – Rx For Expansion, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Writing A Professional Business Plan

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Alice In Wonderland

In Carroll Lewis’ fable, Alice In Wonderland, Alice finds herself lost and asks the Cheshire Cat this question, “Can you tell me please which way I should walk?” To which the Cheshire Cat responds, “Well, it depends on where you want to get to.” Thinking upon his comment, Alice states, “I guess it really doesn’t matter much.” “Then,” Cheshire Cat responds, “it doesn’t really matter much…which way you walk.”

Although this little excerpt from Alice In Wonderland is only an illustrated scene from a fable, many business professionals actually lead their professional lives and their businesses with the same approach as Alice – not knowing which way they should walk and no professional business plan to help them get there. To help business leaders and professionals avoid the tragic consequences of wandering in the business marketplace without any real direction, the following Professional Business Planning template will provide excellent guidance in the preparation of a written professional business plan that contains five critical elements for success in business: Purpose, Vision, Core Values, Team Values, and Strategic Objectives.

A.     The 1st Critical Element of Success in Business is Defining the PURPOSE of Your Business

Purpose is the unequivocal reason why your business exists.

Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

To help you reflect upon the God-ordained purpose of your business and define it in written terms, please answer each of the questions below:

1)      What would happen if your business ceased to exist?

2)      Why is it important for your company to continue to exist?

3)      If you had enough money to retire tomorrow, would you still continue working for your business? If so, why?

Considering your answers to the questions above and reflecting on the statements below about purpose, write down the purpose for your business that is worth your very best efforts to bring God glory and benefit others:

  •  Your purpose is your God-ordained reason for existing in the business world
  • Your purpose reflects the God-ordained reason for doing your work
  • Your purpose captures the soul of your values and beliefs in God expressed through your business
  • Your purpose answers the question, “Whom do I exist to serve, with what, and why?”

B.      The 2nd Critical Element of Success in Business is Having a VISION of Your Business Future

Vision is the mental picture of the preferred future for your business.

Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”

Thinking about the preferred future for your business, in each of the 4 areas below describe what you would like your business to be and become in 10 or 20 years?

  • Finances
  • People
  • Operations
  • Service

C.      The 3rd Critical Element of Success in Business is Defining the CORE VALUES of Your Business

Core Values are the uncompromising convictions and beliefs that your business stands for in the community.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

What are the 3 to 5 convictions you have about your business that you are unwilling to change no matter what as you build your business for the glory of God and the benefit of others?

D.     The 4th Critical Element of Success in Business is Communicating the TEAM VALUES Within Your Business

Team values are the undeniable convictions and beliefs that and you and your team members stand for in your business.

Philippians 2:14-15 “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

What are the 7 to 10 undeniable convictions that you have about your team that you are unwilling to change no matter what as you build your team for the glory of God and the benefit of others? If you have read The Make It Happen Journey, you may be encouraged to build your team with the 9 Make It Happen Team Values defined in the book.

E.      The 5th Critical Element of Success in Business is Developing the STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES of Your Business

Strategic objectives are the compelling ambitions of your business that clearly meet the following criteria:

  • Big Holy Awesome Goals
  • Unifying Points of Teamwork
  • Catalytic Components for Activating Team Spirit
  • Directed Towards Achieving Greatness In God as a Team
  • SMART (Specific, Measureable, Action-Oriented, Results-Oriented, Time-Oriented)

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

What are the 5 to 7 compelling ambitions of your company that will inspire your team members to achieve greatness together and accomplish God’s purpose for your business in the next 2 to 3 years?

Have a blessed ”Make It Happen” day!

Writing A Professional Business Plan Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Writing A Professional Business Plan, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Related Resources:

1)      Coachwell Article: Strategy Part One – Strategy Formation

2)      Coachwell Article: Strategy Part Two – Strategy Function

3)      Coachwell Article: Strategy Part Three – Strategy Execution

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