Have you ever tried to nail jello to a wall? Probably not! You’d simply put a hole in your wall and have a pile of jello on the floor. But that is the funny thing about jello, even though you can’t exactly “nail it down” it still has some unique properties in and of itself. Culture is like jello!
Merriam-Webster defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization“. Attitudes, values, goals, and practices. The ironic thing about each of those terms is they are not necessarily “hard” facts to be observed, yet culture influences everything.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.Peter Drucker
Any leader worth their weight knows not only this quote from Drucker, but that culture is also difficult to implement, change and create. I am constantly trying to get my mind around the culture of any organization, team, or society I am involved with. While asking questions like: “what do we value here” OR “how would we practice…” are helpful, culture can still be hard to decipher. (And trust me – written company “values” rarely portray the true culture of any organization).
So as a leader, how can we not only recognize but influence the culture of what we lead in a positive manner? Jimmy Scroggins writes a great article sharing “5 Intentional Ways to Shape the Culture of Your Church“. I found it a fascinating read not simply to help me know how to shape culture, but because I think he gives a really good insight for us to recognize culture. He states it this way, “[culture] is always mediated through leadership over time”.
I hope you enjoy the article and are challenged to shape any culture you are a part of, especially if you are a leader. Jimmy’s fourth point was challenging to me and is something I am working on daily. Which one did you enjoy most and why? Leave a comment below and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.