#036 – Placebos – The Problem

We have explored the five common Placebos of what we call faith as usual that can lead well intentioned leaders to stumble down faith as usual Side Roads in their effort to “do right” by integrating their faith and their work. We have also explored the six common Side Roads. But what are the problems that can arise from getting stuck on a Side Road and missing the ancient path of business a better way?

Refresher on Placebos and Side Roads

As a reminder, the four common Placebos are:

And the six common Side Roads onto which Placebos can detour leaders:


The Problems

Remember, Side Roads are not inherently bad–in fact, they are better than doing nothing at all.  In his book Ekklesia, Ed Silvoso writes “The enemy of the “best” . . . .  is the “good”, because by being so satisfying, it deprives  us of the hunger for the “much more” that in this case God has in store.

At Integrous, we believe there are six problems that can result from the six Side Roads that flow from the five Placebos (feels like there should a “Partridge in a Pear Tree” somewhere in here).

  • Missed Purpose for the Organization:  We believe there is a bigger WHY for organizations than Profit as Purpose and business as usual, but that WHY will be missed if the organization forgoes “heart” transformation by getting stuck on a Side Road.   An organization can glorify God by maximizing human flourishing or it can maximize profit, but it can’t serve both those masters.
  • Missed Calling for Its Leaders:  We believe leaders of organizations of humans are called to steward in a way that humanizes people, beautifies the world and, in the process, glorifies God.  Sadly, the Side Roads often make leaders feel good about themselves (and can even lead to huge pats on the back and even notoriety from the church and the faith/work movement), so they don’t see the need to seek more. They will miss “doing right”
  • Missed Flourishing for Its People:  If an organization gets detoured onto a Side Road that keeps it pursuing business as usual, including Profit as Purpose, it will miss the opportunity to glorify God by providing opportunities for individuals to express aspects of their God-given identities in creative and meaningful work, by providing opportunities, goods and services that enable families and communities to flourish and by creating a culture of Shalom conducive to the flourishing of all people it touches.  They will miss “doing right”.
  • Increased Misery:  Ironically, the Side Road of Monetizing can actually increase the misery of an organization’s people by seeking to extract increasing amounts of profit to give away to “good causes” by continuing to pursue business as usual.
  • Increased Hypocrisy:  The Side Road of Cosmeticizing can lead to greater faith “hypocrisy” by pursuing business as usual while displaying overt symbols of faith.
  • Unsustainability:  Even efforts at real “heart” transformation to business a better way are unsustainable if detoured on the Side Road of Prosperitizing because the motivation for change is dependent on receiving the continued “blessing” of financial success.

The enemy of the ``best`` . . . . is the ``good``, because by being so satisfying, it deprives us of the hunger for the ``much more`` that in this case God has in store. (Ed Silvoso)

Integriosity® is about faithfully “doing right”, which requires doing the RIGHT THING, in the RIGHT WAY, for the RIGHT REASONS.  The alignment of Integriosity begins with alignment of the purpose and vision of the organization with the Biblical purpose for the organization.  Purpose and values define the culture of an organization; the culture shapes the behavior of the people in the organization; and the behavior of the people drives the results of the organization.  Whether an organization ultimately “does right” (the RIGHT THINGS, in the RIGHT WAYS and for the RIGHT REASONS), goes back to its purpose.  A WHY devoid of a moral compass (e.g., Profit as Purpose) does not support enduring values or a righteous culture.

Side Roads keep leaders and organizations off the ancient path of the real “heart” transformation found through the red pill of business a better way. They keep the organization in the deep hole of business as usual and may even push it deeper.  We believe the more of transformation is much harder, but getting out of the hole is necessary and worth the journey. That journey is the journey of pursuing faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity.

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