Saturday, February 8, 2014

Your organization has a mission but has it created a culture that will support that mission?

Most organizations are clear on their mission - a good thing. What many organizations don't understand, however, is that unless you have a culture that supports the mission it is unlikely that you will fulfill it the way you desire to. In other words, an inadequately designed organizational culture can sabotage your ability to achieve your mission.

Many churches, for instance are committed to introducing people to Christ and helping them grow in Him - a good way to understand the Great Commission. However, if the culture does not reflect the Great Commandment - Loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbors as ourselves. What attracts people to Christ? The grace and love of Jesus as expressed through His people. No matter how much a church might want to see people come to Him, unless they have a culture that reflects Him, it will rarely happen. The culture sabotages the mission!

The mission of New Life Church in Stockholm Sweden is to Impact our world with Hope. That will not happen unless they have a culture of Hope - which they have defined in this way: Hope in the transforming power of the Gospel; Hope that we can be transformed; Hope that others can be transformed; and Hope that our world can be transformed.  With a constant emphasis on this culture of hope New Life Church cannot help but be a place of hope and impact their world with hope. Their culture is designed to support their mission.

Many businesses have mission statements that reflect a commitment to their customers but do not have an intentionally created culture that reflects that commitment. Without a culture designed to put the customer first, those mission statements mean little to nothing. It is easy to write a mission statement. It is much harder to create a culture that supports the mission.

Take a moment to consider the mission of your ministry or business. I assume you believe in the mission. Have you intentionally created a culture within the organization that is designed to support that mission? Could you describe that culture and could your staff and people define it? If not, this needs to become a priority. Attention to your culture can significantly help you live out your mission. It is an investment worth making.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Compared to changing culture changing the mission of an organization is easy. Culture can take years to change. One definition of culture is, "culture is a way of thinking , behaving , or working that exists in an organization ". In an effort to accelerate our effectiveness to change we took an index of our culture to evaluate who were currently are. Having experienced the pain of a culture that sabotages the mission, we now have a starting point of where to begin. As we "turn the barge" of a non missional culture toward a missional culture we are hoping that a more adequately designed organizational culture will help us achieve our missional goals.
- Frank Heegaard