The book “Great Business Emulates a Good God” highlights four key characteristics found in faith-focused, faith-friendly, and faith neutral for-profit business organizations. The main difference between the three categories simply involved the weight and motive behind these values.
The four characteristics were summarized as: faithfulness in relationships, excellence in performance, fruitful in results, and integrity in action. The study demonstrated that each characteristic is an attribute of the Triune God and likewise exemplified in successful business operations. It didn’t matter if the business was Christ-centered or simply neutral in relationship with Jesus. However, what it didn’t take into account was the motive, heart, or allegiance of the organization. It simply focused on these eternal values within a business context.
If we conducted a more in-depth study, it would probably demonstrate that the difference between faith-focused organizations and faith neutral operations was a matter of the heart. The faith-focused organization probably would demonstrate more care for the stakeholder out of sincere love than the faith-neutral operation that would emphasize “it’s good business for the bottom line to care for one’s employees.” The faith-focus would probably place greater emphasis on building the relationship and the faith-neutral would most likely emphasize the profit-side. It would be an interesting study to conduct.
For now, if your business only measures profit metrics maybe it’s time to change. How about measuring the relationships, quality of work, fulfillment of mission objectives, and conduct that demonstrates high integrity? You may be pleasantly surprised by the results. One recent Harvard study showed that about 47% of an organizations bottom-line is the result of its culture. If something that impacts almost 50% of the bottom-line is culture, how come we don’t measure its performance? Then again, when the Spirit of Christ is alive in the hearts of the employees, maybe measuring isn’t as important as just simply living the gospel in the marketplace. What do you think?
Father, Lord, Holy Spirit – Thank you for expressing your life in creation. We see you in us. We see you in the order of the universe. We see you in organizations that flourish. Help us to learn from you. Help us to instill in our workplaces your characteristic values. Help us to employ your economic values in relationships, work, and decisions. Whatever we do help us to live your gospel of the Kingdom, grace, and fruitfulness in the marketplace. Let our lives express you and glorify you in everything we say, think, and do.
Yours In Christ,
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