Article by Chris Huffman
What I love so much about Michael Brodeur’s materials is that he takes very large mysterious concepts and breaks them down to bite size digestible pieces. This is exactly what he does in his teaching on creating culture. While I was listening to it, I could see situations in my past where I had experienced or created culture without having a clue what was going on. Sometimes by accident I was part of a thriving healthy culture and other times it felt like I was just stuck in the mud and did not understand why. This teaching really took me to a new level of understanding and awareness, shining a light on a lot of areas that I took for granted or left to chance and hoped they would fall into place. Now, I still may not get it all right, but at least I will be able to see what it is that I am doing wrong in real time.
While listening to this teaching I was able to list out all the positive and negative core values of organizations I had been a part of in the past. I found there were real actual changes I could have made, where before I knew there was something wrong but the solutions I would come up with would be different and more of a shot in the dark. I always knew that managers and leaders were such a key to the feel of an organization, but I never put structure to the idea before like this. It is so easy to see that the values of the leadership in any group determine the way the whole group functions.
I also enjoyed the teaching about the programs we put in place. We can’t change our culture by programs alone, and if we put a program in place that doesn’t line up with our values and mission it actually has negative effects on the group and will just frustrate and burn people out. It is so important to be thoughtful and value people’s time enough to design programs with focus and strategy.
As church leaders, we must realize how important culture is to overall church health. Whether you are starting a new organization of any kind or are part of an existing one. And, the value of this course can be weighed against years of trial and error. I have stumbled through the dark, poking around at organizational health and trying different things to see what will work for years, and when someone comes in and explains things so simply it feels like a fresh air. I know that Michael Brodeur has years of working through this to figure things out, but I love how his brain works in gathering information and packaging it so well for others to consume.