thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, January 25

Organizational Culture 2 (again...)

A bunch of people asked me when I was going to do part 2 of my post on organizational culture in the context of our journey at the Orchard, when in fact I already posted it on 12/27. But I guess they were all consumed with the whole "Christmas" thing and missed it... So here it is again.

In my first post about organizational culture, I wrote about the cultural transition that we have experienced in the past two and half years and specifically, about the importance of leadership by example - taking initiative and being intentional about modeling what it was we were expecting from those inside of our organization (which for us is a church…).

Another thing that helped our organization make a major shift was getting our words aligned and finally getting to the place where we were all...

2. Speaking the same language.

As we sat down to discuss the future of what we believed we were "called" to be as a church, we began noting words that seemed to clearly represent that direction. For us, some of those words were: connection, relevant, authentic, community, leadership, gathering and partnership.

Before the transition, we had never been very intentional about using these types of words. So to help ourselves become intentional, we would literally script out every announcement, every message and every piece of “communication” that would be released by our staff. On the surface, it seemed somewhat micromanaging, but it got all of us on the same page and speaking the same language.

We’ve also gotten on the same page as it relates to our mission. Almost everyone who attends our worship gatherings can probably recite, from memory, what our mission is.

Our mission is very simple, to the point and easy enough for people to remember and understand. Every time we have a church community gathering, we state our mission and usually offer just a few seconds worth of explanation as to what that mission means in relation to the gathering we are having at that moment.

Keeping the mission in front of people is huge and allows a couple of things to occur. For one, it gets the mission right out there in the open. And secondly, if people don’t like it or are having trouble connecting with it, they will usually realize it right away.

One of the things we've come to realize is that our church isn't for everyone. And that’s ok! There is no way we can cater to everyone at one time. We just have to do our best to connect with the people God has placed around us in our community.

Speaking the same language was a huge step for us – and it continues to be something we strive towards. It’s not uncommon at all now to hear people talking in their smaller gatherings or in the hallways or in meetings using the same words that we made sure we spoke on a regular basis.