28 Sep #140 – Integrity Idea 011: Celebrate Impact
ESSENCE: From time to time, we are devoting posts to describing specific actions a faithful leader can consider in leading faithfully through business a better way. We are calling these Integrity Ideas.
INTEGRITY IDEA: Celebrate Impact
COVERT-OVERT CONTINUUM (six Continuums for action): Practice
COVERT-OVERT RATING (several levels from Highly Covert to Highly Overt): Highly Covert
STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees, Customers/Clients
Most Integrity Ideas are practical actions that will begin to Re-Align the organization with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities. “Celebrate Impact” is about a leader arranging for customers and clients to share with the organization’s employees how the organization’s products or services have impacted their lives and allowed them to impact other lives. “Celebrate Impact” recognizes that it is humanizing for people to understand God’s greater purpose for their work–how their work is beautifying the world and aligning with the Creation Mandate and the commandment to love their neighbors. It reinforces Biblical cultural values of relationships, community and human dignity. Presenting a bigger “vision” for work and showing employees they are “valued” are also key elements in creating a culture in which workers feel connected and engaged. In its most Covert form, “Celebrate Impact” is “Highly Covert” because it can and should be done by any organization that cares about its purpose, its people and its culture.
From time to time, we are devoting posts to describing specific actions a leader can consider during the Re-Align step of Integriosity®–actions that will begin to Re-Align the organization with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities. We are calling these “Integrity Ideas“.
We usually say that some Integrity Ideas will feel like a good fit, and others will not, and that the choice should be based on which approach is best for stewarding the organization toward its WHY. Although there are some unique industries in which “Celebrate Impact” may be difficult or impractical because of the nature of the customers/clients or the products, we believe in most cases it should be a “no brainer” to at least try–it is inexpensive, covert and potentially high-impact.
In its most Covert form, even “Celebrate Impact” is “Highly Covert” because it can and should be done by any organization that cares about its culture.
INTEGRITY IDEA: Celebrate Impact
“Celebrate Impact” is about a leader arranging for customers and clients to share with the organization’s employees how the organization’s products or services have impacted their lives and allowed them to impact other lives.
“Celebrate Impact” recognizes that it is humanizing for people to understand God’s greater purpose for their work–how their work is beautifying the world and aligning with the Creation Mandate and the commandment to love their neighbors.
It reinforces Biblical cultural values of relationships, community and human dignity. One of the quotes we have often used in posts comes from James Hunter’s book To Change the World, in which Hunter observes:
To manage a business in a way that grows out of a Biblical view of relationships, community and human dignity before God has divine significance irrespective of what else might be done from this platform.
Presenting a bigger “vision” for work and showing employees they are “valued” are also key elements in creating a culture in which workers feel connected and engaged. We have shared the “connection culture” work of Michael Stallard in many posts (in fact, “Celebrate Impact” was inspired by one of his suggestions in a guide called 100 Ways To Connect).
In his book Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work, Stallard shows that healthier motivation, and a healthier culture of connection, comes by creating an organizational culture that meets people’s need and desire for Vision, Value and Voice. Stallard argues that people rise to the occasion when they see their work as part of a bigger vision, feel valued as human beings and feel they have a voice in how the organization pursues that bigger vision.
Wharton professor Adam Grant noted:
For decades, Americans have ranked purpose as their top priority — above promotions, income, job security, and hours. Work is a search “for daily meaning as well as daily bread,” wrote Studs Turkel after interviewing hundreds of people in a striking array of jobs.
Its not the nature of the work that makes all the difference–it is the bigger picture within which you see the work and the culture within which you perform it. “Celebrate Impact” helps bring that bigger picture into focus.
The Integriosity model organizes “heart change” along six Covert-Overt Continuums. There is nothing magic about these categories, but we believe they are helpful in thinking about practical execution of a Re-Imagined Purpose, Re-Imagined Values and a Re-Imagined Culture. The Continuums are Prayer, Proclamation, Policies, Practices, Products, People.
Each Continuum represents an area in which leaders can begin to think about, plan and institute Re-Alignment changes to the heart of the organization.
“Celebrate Impact” is on the Practice Continuum. Practices reflect, and at the same time help shape and reinforce, an organization’s culture.
COVERT-OVERT RATING: Highly Covert
The Integriosity model breaks the Covert-Overt Continuums into six gradations–from Highly Covert to Highly Overt–that we believe are helpful in beginning to pray and think about what is most appropriate for an organization at a particular moment in time.
Most Integrity Ideas will have one place on the scale. Some can vary depending on how they are implemented. “Celebrate Impact” is Highly Covert (an action that would be taken by a secular company) because every organization, secular or faithful, has employees desperate to know that they are “seen” and that what they do each day makes a difference in the world. Of course, the “words” around the celebration can be as overt or covert as the leaders decide.
STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees, Customers/Clients
When we categorize faith-based actions, we also consider the stakeholders principally impacted by the action: Employees, Customers/Clients, Owners, Suppliers/Vendors, Community and Kingdom.
Culture is important because it defines the day-to-day experience that various stakeholders have with the organization. It is how employees experience their work-day, how vendors experience contract negotiations and contract performance, and how customers experience interacting with the organization. Unlike lofty purpose statements and value lists, culture is where the rubber meets the road and the boots hit the ground.
As such, “Celebrate Impact” most impacts Employees and Customers/Clients because their lives, efforts and work are being celebrated. Employees hear directly from those being impacted by their lives, efforts and work–from the neighbors being loved through their service. Customers/Clients get to see the lives they are impacting by being customers and clients, and in many cases the Customers/Clients, in turn, get to share, and be celebrated for, the way that they use the organization’s products and services to further impact the world.
“Celebrate Impact” reinforces the broader community that encompasses the organization’s Employees and Customers/Clients and deepens the relationships between those humans. It also reflects and reinforces the importance of human dignity in the organization’s business a better way culture, extending that dignity beyond the walls of the organization to one of the stakeholders it touches.
Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread. (Studs Terkel)
Implementing “Celebrate Impact” is pretty straightforward. Invite a Customer/Client to share with the organization’s Employees how the organization’s products impact their organization or their lives, as well as how they are able to impact other lives because of the the impact of the organization’s products or services.
The vehicle for sharing could be a live presentation, a live-stream presentation or even a recorded video presentation, depending on factors like the location of the Customer/Client and the size of the Employee audience.
In presenting the opportunity to the Customer/Client and celebrating the impact with Employees, an organization’s leaders should consider things such as:
• How to use the opportunity to thank the Customer/Client.
• How to explain to the Customer/Client and the Employees the way “Celebrate Impact” reflects and reinforces the organization’s culture.
• Whether to explain to the Customer/Client or Employees the way “Celebrate Impact” aligns with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities.
• Whether and how to memorialize the “Celebrate Impact” presentation in a way that will continue to reinforce the organization’s culture, including to future employees.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): For a non-profit organization, “Celebrate Impact” can easily add donors to the celebration. I recently witnessed this beautifully executed by the Bridgeport Rescue Mission (BRM). A dear friend and New Canaan Society brother pours his heart each year into a citrus sale that benefits BRM. He has been doing it for several years. In past years, BRM celebrated this donor by organizing a check presentation and taking a photo. This year, they really “Celebrated Impact”.
When he came in for the check presentation, BRM had arranged for a local news crew to be there with a camera. They also organized a celebration that included an opportunity for one of their residents to share the impact BRM had on his life, presentation of a large check reproduction, and a special lunch prepared by BRM’s chefs at which the donor could interact with both staff and some residents.
It reflects Biblical concepts of relationships, community and human dignity. Well done BRM.