#071 – Integriosity – RENEW—Mind-Shift #5–The “WHEN” of Integration

ESSENCE: The fifth key “mind-shift” of business a better way through Integriosity® captures a new way of thinking about the WHEN of faith-work integration–it is getting at the PRIORITY of “business a better way” in the organization being stewarded by faith-driven leaders.   The critical thing to remember about Mind-Shift #5 is “THE TIME IS NOW“.  Once a faith-driven leader understands God’s purpose for work and business and understands that they are stewards of an organization that belongs to God, there is no justification for delay.  It is too easy to swallow The Success First Pill and get stuck on the Side Road of Interimizing.   Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires mind-shifts that lead to heart-shifts, both in the leaders and in the organization, and cultural “heart change” takes time. It’s NOW or NEVER, because TOMORROW never comes.

In post #066 we introduced the five key “mind-shifts” of business a better way thinking that are the gateway to moving into the RE-IMAGINE process of Integriosity®, and in our last four posts (#067, #068, #069 and #070) we explored:

    • Mind-Shift #1 – rethinking the WHAT of faith-work integration (“Faith Can’t Fit Into Work”) – PRINCIPLE
    • Mind-Shift #2 – rethinking the WHO necessary for faith-work integration (“You Are Not What You Do”) – PERSON
    • Mind-Shift #3 – rethinking the WHY of business (“Greed Is Not the Creed”) – PURPOSE
    • Mind-Shift #4 – rethinking the HOW of faith-work integration (“Symbols Are Secondary”) – PRACTICE

Mind-Shift #5 is about rethinking the “WHEN” of faith-work integration–it is getting at the PRIORITY of “business a better way” in the organization being stewarded by faith-driven leaders.

“MIND-SHIFT #5”–Priority of Implementing Faith-Work Integration

Mind-shifts #1-#4 are more complicated because they deal with things like identity, motivation, purpose and process.   Mind-shift #5 is pretty straightforward–it just deals with WHEN to begin implementing “business a better way”, and there are only two choices: NOW or NEVER.  You may be saying “Wait a minute–there are many time slots in between NOW and NEVER–like TOMORROW or next Tuesday.”  Sorry, as we describe below, “tomorrow” never comes (and J. Wellington Wimpy proved that next Tuesday also never comes–and that one may date you).  As with all the “mind-shifts”, we believe there are two common (and misguided) views as well as what we call the RENEWED view.

  • World View.  
    • Traditional.  The secular “world” view of when to begin integrating faith and work has traditionally been pretty simple–NEVER–they have nothing to do with each other.  Faith is for Sunday (or Saturday).
    • Enlightened.  As we described in more detail in post #070, in recent years, the traditional view has softened with the growth of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are either recognized or at least tolerated by an organization in recognition of the benefits that come from encouraging employees to “bring their whole self” to work.
  • “Faith as Usual” Views.  
    • For leaders who get over the Sunday/Monday Gap, there is generally a feeling that they should do something about integrating their faith and their work.  If they get diverted onto the unsustainable Side Road of Agonizing, they may just decide that “SOMEDAY” (i.e., NEVER) is the best answer.  The Side Roads of Individualizing or Monetizing may result in prompt action, but it is not action that moves the “heart” of the organization toward “business a better way”.
    • The real tragedy of missed opportunity occurs if a leader swallows The Success First Pill and ends up on the Side Road of Interimizing. The “Success First” Pill says that getting the organization up and running and successful is the first priority–faith/work integration can come later.   A leader may swallow The “Success First” Pill for any number of reasons, many of which we detail in post #029.  Interimizing is putting off faithfully “doing right” until the business is “doing well”–exalting a worldly concept of “success” (profit) over a Biblical concept of “success” (human flourishing).
    • In post #035, we introduced you to one of our favorite blog posts of all time–it is a post Seth Godin wrote in August 2015 that he called “The Interim Strategy”.  Here is a reminder:

This interim strategy, the notion that ideals and principles are for later, but right now, all the focus and resources have to be put into the emergency of getting successful—it doesn’t work.  It doesn’t work because it’s always the interim. It never seems like the right time to stop doing what worked and start doing what we said was important.

    • Just like TOMORROW (and next Tuesday), WHEN WE GET SUCCESSFUL likely becomes NEVER.

JUST DO IT. (Nike)

  • The “Renewed” View.   The critical thing to remember about Mind-Shift #4 is “THE TIME IS NOW”.   This mind-shift is really simple–obedience to God’s principles, values and priorities is not for TOMORROW–it is for TODAY.  Once a faith-driven leader understands God’s purpose for work and business and understands that they are stewards of an organization that belongs to God, there is no justification for delay.  It is time to begin doing something!  Get on the Covert-Overt Continuums, anywhere, and trust the Holy Spirit to move you over time.  In the words of Rick Warren: “When the Creator of the universe tells you to do something, he expects you to do it—now.  Every parent knows delayed obedience is disobedience.

    If Biblical passages are needed, here are just a few:

    • So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17)
    • I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments. (Psalm 119:60)
    • As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. (1 Peter 1:14)

Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires mind-shifts that lead to heart-shifts, both in the leaders and in the organization.  And the time to start is NOW.  Anything less can bring the the missed purpose for organizations, the missed calling for leaders, the missed flourishing for people and the increased misery that was explained in Post #036.

We believe it is time for business a better way in alignment with Biblical values and priorities–it is time to begin faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity®.

SPOILER ALERT:  In addition to obedience, another reason to start NOW is that “heart” change in an organization is a slow process.  In the third step of Integriosity–RE-ALIGN–“Patience” is one of the five ingredients for execution.

PERSONAL NOTE (from PM):  Is it really NOW or NEVER?  Does TOMORROW really never come?  In 1989, I was representing a U.S. company in a complex joint venture with a Venezuelan company.  There were certain documents we needed from the Venezuelan company, and the CEO and CFO (both native Spanish-speakers) kept promising my client that they would send them “tomorrow”–at least that is what my client believed they were telling him.  This went on for months!  Finally, I called the U.S. lawyer for the Venezuelan company–a Latino based in Miami–to express my client’s frustration and seek his assistance.  I will never forget his response as he chuckled over the phone:

Paul, Paul, Paul, you need to understand–in Latin America “mañana” doesn’t mean “tomorrow”, it means “not today”.

If you type “tomorrow” into Google translate, you get “mañana“,  but the Merriam-Webster dictionary understands the nuance shared with me in 1989–it says mañana means “an indefinite time in the future“.   In order to faithfully “do right”, Elvis had it right back in 1960 (click below).

Elvis Presley - "It's Now or Never"

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Photo Credit: Original photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
(photo cropped)