The Critical Importance of Vision Alignment in Your Church

Does culture trump strategy?

Annette Franz, a Customer Experience executive, recently weighed in on the discussion with an interesting answer. Read on…

First, what is culture? I think Herb Kelleher, a man who knows a thing or two about culture, defines it best: “Culture is what people do when no one is looking.” Culture is the set of values and norms that guides how the business operates.

And, what is strategy? Basically, it’s a plan or direction. It outlines how you are going to achieve the goals of the business. From BusinessDictionary.com: “The overall scope and direction of a corporation and the way in which its various business operations work together to achieve particular goals.”

I tend to view strategy and culture as two sides of the same coin. I think they need to go hand in hand; why should they compete?

Does one trump the other? No. Why? Because I think vision and purpose are more important and are the ones that do the trumping!

What is vision? According to BusinessDictionary.com: “An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.” I would add that it is not only aspirational but also inspirational.

What is purpose? It’s your Why. It’s the reason for being, the reason for doing.

Vision is where. Purpose is the why. Strategy is the how. And culture is the who and what. They’re all important. Vision and strategy are set by the executives, but culture tends to be driven by the employees. Sure, executives need to support it, but this is where employees get to take over. Strategy is top-down, while culture tends to be bottom-up. Culture can’t be shoved down your throat, where I think strategy can be. For better or worse.

Vision without execution is hallucination. -Thomas Edison

But…

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. -Yogi Berra

I think both purpose and vision trump culture and strategy. They are the north star. They guide you when you’re lost. They point you in the right direction when competing ideas are spreading you too thin. Strategy comes out of the vision and the purpose. Culture ultimately does, too, because you’re going to hire the right people and set the right stage to deliver on your vision and your purpose. And when you’ve hired the right people – those who are aligned with your vision and your purpose -to do that, then they’ll give their hearts and souls to make sure you succeed.

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. -Warren Bennis

Read more from Annette here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette Franz

Annette Franz

Annette Franz is Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer, of course!) of CX Journey Inc. She has 25 years of experience helping companies understand their customers and employees and identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience. She is active in the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), as: an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors, a CX Expert, a CX Mentor, and a SoCal Local Networking Lead. Annette is also a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP).

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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