Catalyst Day Two wrapup – Andy Stanley

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Catalyst 2009

The last speaker I want to share about from my Catalyst experience was Andy Stanley.  He was the first speaker for Catalyst and the one that wrapped things up.  Andy talked about cultivating a healthy staff culture.  Why?  Because,

Your church and your church culture should be the healthiest organizational culture in your city.

Here’s what Andy said it takes to creat a healthy staff:

Healthy people are attracted to healthy cultures.

Andy talked about the gap between what we expect of people and what they actually do and that ultimately we choose what goes in those gaps.  His emphasis was on the reality that our choice for those gaps will shape the culture of our organization.  The choices?  Assume the worst or believe the best.   Each of those choices have a powerful affect on the direction of organization culture.

According to Andy, there are two things that make it difficult for us to believe the best,  “What I see” and “Who I am”.  If someone consistently brings poor quality stuff to the table then you will always assume the worst.  Also, what you have experienced in terms of personal hurt or betrayal will influence what you choose for the gap.

The thing is, as Andy puts it, developing a culture of trust is critical to the health and success of your organization. Why?

  • Trust fuels Productivity – (the message of trust: I think you are smart enough to know what to do and how to do it).
  • Trust attracts trustworthy people and quickly surfaces those who AREN’T  (You will never know who you can’t trust until you trust them and you will never know who you can trust until you trust them.  Also, I liked this statement: Trusting is risky. Refusing to trust is riskier!
  • Trust enables an organization to move FASTER

Here’s a quote from Reggie McNeal that Andy shared,

Teams use trust as currency. If it is in short supply, then the team is poor. If trust abounds, the members of the team have purchase power with each other to access each other’s gifts, talents, energy, creativity, and love. The development of trust, then, becomes a significant leadership strategy.

The next point Andy made is that, developing a culture of trust BEGINS with the leader.

  • Trust and suspicion are both telegraphed from the leader throughout an entire department or organization.
  • When you can’t choose to trust, you must choose to confront (concealed suspicion poisons the entire relationship – the moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted *Mahatma Ghandi)  The consequences of confrontation are far less severe than the consequences of concealment.
  • To develop a culture of trust, leaders must be trustworthy.

To bring it all together Andy wrapped up by saying cultivating healthy organizational culture requires five commitments:

1. When there is a gap between what I expected and what I experienced, I will BELIEVE the best.

2. When other people assume the worst about you, I will come to your DEFENSE

3. If what I experience begins to erode my trust, I will come directly to you about it.

4. When I’m convinced I will not be able to deliver on a promise, I will inform you AHEAD of time.

5. When you confront me about the gaps I’ve created, I will tell you the truth.

Here’s some questions Andy left us with to help evaluate this in our own organization.  What answers would you give?

1. Are there people in your organization you have a difficult time trusting?

2. Is it your issue or theirs?

3. What can you do about your part?

4. What do you need to address with them about their part?

5. Who do you sense has a difficult time trusting you?

6. Why?

7. What can you do about it?

For another great write up of Andy’s talk see Kent Schaffer’s, “Andy Stanley on Creating a Healthy Work Culture“.  I’m coming close to the end of my notes on Catalyst.  There’s one more post I’ll be writing up on some of the fun stuff I saw at Catalyst.  Stay tuned!