01 Mar #162 – Integrity Idea 020: Buy Tickets
ESSENCE: Integrity Ideas are specific actions a faithful leader can consider in leading faithfully through business a better way.
INTEGRITY IDEA: Buy Tickets
COVERT-OVERT CONTINUUM (six Continuums for action): Practices
COVERT-OVERT RATING (several levels from Highly Covert to Highly Overt): Overt
STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees, Customers, Suppliers/Vendors, Community, Kingdom
Most Integrity Ideas are practical actions toward implementing a bigger WHY for the organization. “Buy Tickets” is about purchasing tickets for various stakeholders to attend local events, such as films, plays, concerts and other performances, which may or may not be faith-inspired or more overtly faith-themed. It recognizes that leading faithfully through business a better way calls for creative practices that care for stakeholders “outside the office” while supporting the organization’s community. To the extent the events are faith-inspired or faith-themed, “Buy Tickets” also encourages and celebrates other groups and initiatives that are trying to lift up or live out a faithful message and Glorify God by Beautifying the World. It is a simple way to have a broad impact across many stakeholders. “Buy Tickets” is the organization living out, and inviting stakeholders to actively participate in its living out of, the Great Commandment (love God and love your neighbor).
Integrity Ideas are 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.
Integrity Ideas are practical actions toward implementing a bigger WHY for the organization. We believe some are critical (and necessary) steps in the RENEW/RE-ALIGN/RE-IMAGINE/RESTORE process. Others are just ideas to be considered if they feel like a good fit based on what leaders prayerfully discern is best for stewarding the organization toward its WHY.
“Buy Tickets” falls into the category of a relatively simple and inexpensive practice that can be implemented in many different ways if it feels like a good fit. Unlike some other “Integrity Ideas”, leading faithfully through business a better way does not hinge on implementing “Buy Tickets”.
INTEGRITY IDEA: Buy Tickets
“Buy Tickets” is about purchasing tickets for various stakeholders to attend local events, such as films, plays, concerts and other performances, which may or may not be faith-inspired or more overtly faith-themed.
It recognizes that leading faithfully through business a better way calls for creative practices that care for stakeholders “outside the office” while supporting the organization’s community. To the extent the events are faith-inspired or faith-themed, “Buy Tickets” also encourages and celebrates other groups and initiatives that are trying to lift up or live out a faithful message and Glorify God by Beautifying the World. It is a simple way to have a broad impact across many stakeholders.
God created humans to create organizations to organize humans to work together in relationship to create products and services that serve humanity. God cares about people (God’s image-bearers); God cares about relationships (an attribute of Imago-Dei); and God cares about work (essential to living out Imago Dei).
Because organizations are about people, organizational culture needs to about people. We believe it only follows that an organization committed to Re-Imagining its culture in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities (prioritizing relationships, community, human dignity and flourishing of all people) MUST examine how it’s culture treats the people it touches (owners, employees, vendors, customers, communities), whether its culture encourages healthy or unhealthy relationships among those people, and whether its culture leads to work being experienced by its people as a blessing of flourishing to be embraced or a burden to be minimized.
“Buying Tickets” helps cultivate and reinforce a culture of caring in several ways:
• It shows the invited stakeholders that the organization cares about more than their performance as stakeholders–it cares about them as humans who have lives outside work. To the extent families are invited, it shows that the organization cares about the “whole lives” of its stakeholders, including those they care about.
• It promotes the development of relationships between and among the invited stakeholders by giving them an opportunity to share an experience and interact outside a work setting and, to the extent families are invited, to meet each other’s families.
• It shows the invited stakeholders that the organization cares about its community and, if the events are faith-inspired or faith-themed, about groups and initiatives in the community that are trying to lift up or live out a faithful message and Glorify God by Beautifying the World.
“Buy Tickets” also shows the community that the organization cares about the social capital necessary for it to pursue its mission, and it shows those people involved in the faith-inspired or faith-themed events and initiatives that their faithful efforts are recognized, valued and celebrated.
“Buy Tickets” is the organization living out, and inviting stakeholders to actively participate in its living out of, the Great Commandment (love God and love your neighbor). It provides a vehicle for stakeholders to become more fully human–living out Imago Dei by participating in the mirroring of God’s generosity and focus on relationships.
In a small and simple way, “Buying Tickets”, like all Integrity Ideas, is the light of business a better way pushing back the darkness of business as usual. Cultural commentator Seth Godin observed that a “posture of generosity and connection replaces a mindset of scarcity.” If you have been reading our posts, you know that Scarcity (along with Self-Interest) is one of the two key assumptions that drive business as usual.
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.
“Buy Tickets” is on the Practices Continuum. It is a practice the organization can adopt to reflect and reinforce its purpose and values.
COVERT-OVERT RATING: Highly Overt
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. We identify “Buy Tickets” as Overt (An overtly faith-based action known generally within the organization), but it can run the gamut from Highly Covert (An action that would be taken by a secular company) to Highly Overt (An overtly faith-based action involving community, website, sales/marketing materials), depending on the nature of the events, the stakeholders invited and how the organization publicizes or describes the initiative.
If the events are limited to secular events, “Buy Tickets” will be Highly Covert unless the organization publicizes its WHY in faith terms. Buying tickets for a faith-inspired or faith-themed event will be Overt if invitees are limited to employees, Very Overt (An overtly faith-based action involving suppliers, vendors or customers) if invitees include stakeholders such as customers and suppliers/vendors, or Highly Overt (An overtly faith-based action involving community, website, sales/marketing materials) if the organization “Buys Tickets” in a way that highlights the organization (e.g., taking over a performance) or publicizes the WHY behind its practice.
STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees, Customers, Suppliers/Vendors, Community, Kingdom
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.
“Buy Tickets” principally serves the invited stakeholders, which may be limited to employees or may include customer or suppliers/vendors. Regardless of the invitees, “Buy Tickets” serves the local community by supporting the local events and initiatives and those involved in organizing them. It can also serve the Kingdom by supporting and encouraging faith-inspired events and initiatives that are lifting up or living out a faithful message and Glorifying God by Beautifying the World.
The posture of generosity and connection replaces a mindset of scarcity. (Seth Godin)
The beauty of “Buy Tickets” is that it can be done simply. Someone else does all the work of creating the event. The most difficult part of implementing “Buy Tickets” is making choices–choices about which stakeholders will be invited, what types of events and performances will be offered and how openly to publicize the organization’s participation and the WHY behind it.
If the events chosen are faith-oriented, like all faith-based resources and activities in the workplace, participation must be voluntary (and whether an employee chooses to participate shouldn’t impact their employment).
Here are some questions for faithful leaders to consider:
• Who will be invited? Just employees? Customers? Suppliers/vendors? Will families be invited? What about members of the local community who might be unable to afford tickets?
• How will tickets be offered and allocated? First-come, first-served? Based on seniority? Based on past participation (e.g., priority given to those who have not attended an event in the prior year).
• What types of events will be supported? Some possibilities are movies, plays, concerts, fundraising events, art shows, and lectures. Of course, the types of events will vary greatly based on the community of the organization. Two specific examples are:
• The recently released film The Jesus Revolution about the “Jesus Movement”, starring Kelsey Grammer.
• A Broadway-style musical opening this May in Dallas about the life of Jesus. It is called His Story: The Musical. (In the interest of full disclosure, Integrous is honored to serve as Integrity Advisor to the production). Whether or not you are near Dallas, we encourage you to listen to the incredible story behind the musical, which was written by a 17-year-old girl after praying for God’s help.
• How overtly faith-inspired will events be? Even a family-friendly, secular event like a circus helps build relationships among attendees and shows they are cared for.
• Overtness. While movement along the Covert/Overt Continuum will occur based on the stakeholders invited and the nature of the events selected, an organization’s implementation of “Buy Tickets” can also become more Overt to the extent it “Buys Tickets” in ways that highlight the organization itself. For example, “buying out the house” for a performance. Overtness moves to Highly Overt if the organization highlights the WHY behind its “Buy Tickets” initiative, such as on its website.
As we emphasized in post #141 (Covert or Overt?), when a faithful leader is weighing the practical steps to take in order to lead faithfully through business a better way, discernment as to the Covert/Overt choice requires a continual balancing of the call to be courageous and the need to be wise.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): As a partner in a Wall Street law firm and the father of two young children, I experienced the power of a family “Buy Tickets” event. Each year, the firm would “buy out” a performance of the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center. It was open to all employees and their families. Everything was included–programs, food and even one souvenir per child. Our children (and I) looked forward to this event every year. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the spouses and children of co-workers in a relaxed environment. It was also one of my favorite “firm” events. Below is a picture of our young family enjoying the circus (and the snacks)!
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Photo credit: Original photo by Tyler Callahan on Unsplash(photo cropped)