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.

The Make It Happen Moment ® Face The Facts

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Quote: “Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life!” – Jim Collins

So when is good, good enough for you, your team, and your circle of influence?  You might think to yourself, “I’m a good person, I have a good team, and I work for a good company.  I live in a good neighborhood, I have good friends, and I make a good living.  Things are as good as they’ll be and that’s fine with me.”  Sadly, we all too often settle for the mediocrity of a “good life” when there is so much more we can live for.  In John 10:10, the Lord tells us that, “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  The only life that will ever really be good enough in this world is the abundant life found in the Lord.  He is Jehovah Rohi, the Lord our Shepherd, whom guides us into a life of excellence and abundance that far surpasses any “good life” we can attain on our own. 

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins further elaborates that one of the requirements to turn something good into something great is to “confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith.”  To me confronting the brutal facts means discovering and facing the honest conditions of your life – all aspects – and then doing something about it through a spirit of faith in the One who makes all things new.  This process requires a safe environment that offers people an opportunity to be open, transparent, and vulnerable to judge themselves.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:31, that “if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged”; however, truly judging ourselves requires the ultimate safe environment of eternal Grace, Mercy, and Truth that accepts us just as we are, releasing our past, and creating our future.  Facing the facts in the presence of redeeming Grace is the first step to experiencing real change that produces greatness found in God.  

Concluding, I have an important question to ask.  Are you living up to your fullest potential and fulfilling the destiny God has planned for you?  It’s not just a good question, it’s a great question that you must ask and honestly answer to become all that God intends for you to be.   With a spirit of faith, don’t ever settle for the “good life” when the Lord is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” in Him!

The Make It Happen Abundant Celebration Value: “Make It Happen” People Celebrate Accomplishments Abundantly!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Face The Facts Copyright 2006, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Face The Facts, 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.

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