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The Flourishing Culture Podcast

Welcome to the Flourishing Culture Podcast, brought to you by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Each week, we bring you timely, transformative truths from the Christian workplace you can use to build a flourishing culture and a thriving organization. Listen in as Al Lopus, President of BCWI, conducts interviews with Best Christian Workplace leaders. Learn more at www.bcwinstitute.org.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 26, 2016

What are the secrets of leaders who continue to have significant influence over long periods of time, where age doesn't seem to slow them down or see their influence diminish? Today, we're talking to just such a leader: Jerry White, president emeritus of The Navigators. He doesn't disappoint in offering sage advice for Christian leaders at any stage.

With his Ph.D. in astronautics, Jerry served as an Air Force mission controller at  Cape Canaveral, working on the beginnings of America’s space program. He is the co-author of the current textbook on astrodynamics at the Air Force Academy, and he retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Major General. In 1986, he was elected as the third president of The Navigators and served as International President until 2005, nearly 19 years. He is also the co-author of a dozen Christian books with his wife and ministry partner, Mary.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/encore-jerry-white-navigators

Dec 19, 2016

One of the most remarkable cultural transformations we’ve seen comes from one of the oldest and most revered Chrisitan ministries. In the past 6 years, Craig Warner, Executive Director of The Gideons International, has moved their workplace culture from toxic to one that’s very healthy. Today, we’re going to learn about a few of the steps they took to accomplish this remarkable feat.

Starting in 1908 as an association of Christian businessmen placing Bibles in hotel rooms,The Gideons International has expanded dramatically, placing more than two billion Bibles and Scripture portions in more than 95 languages around the globe.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e12-craig-warner-gideons

Dec 12, 2016

How can leaders build a culture of trust and open communication? Today, it’s our pleasure to welcome Bob Lonac, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRISTA. The number one strength CRISTA scored on the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey is trust. And right there with trust, CRISTA is also very strong when it comes to healthy communication.

CRISTA is a large group of seven thriving and distinctive ministries, whose mission is “to love God by serving people.” Located in the Seattle area, CRISTA has over 1,000 employees serving people worldwide.  Their ministries include Christian schools, international development, senior living and broadcast media.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e11-bob-lonac-crista-ministries

Dec 5, 2016

Imagine, for a moment, if you could significantly improve the health of your workplace culture over this coming year and see the growing satisfaction, camaraderie and productivity of your people. Today, you’re going to meet a leader who’s has done just that – significantly improve the health of his workplace culture over the course of one year.

Today we have the pleasure of visiting with Scott Evans, the founder and CEO of Outreach, Inc.  Outreach was started in 1996 with the vision of helping church planters with their branding and marketing. This vision expanded to reaching every person in America with a personal invitation to a Bible-believing church.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e10-scott-evans-outreach-inc

Nov 14, 2016

Have you ever wondered if there’s a strategic planning process that’s effective, yet doesn’t take months to develop? Today, we’re talking with an innovator behind a proven strategic planning process that’s immediately functional and operational—and that works for both organizations and churches.

Here to tell us all about it is Greg Hawkins, Minister of Ministry Development at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, which is home to two pastors and authors, Max Lucado and Randy Frazee.

A native Texan, Greg is also well-known for serving alongside Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church. Prior to Willow, Greg worked as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company after receiving an MBA at Stanford.  He’s also the co-author of the breakthrough Reveal Study and several other books, including his most recent, More: How to Move from Activity for God to Intimacy with God.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e9-greg-hawkins-oak-hills-church.

Nov 7, 2016

Changing your workplace culture can be a daunting task. Leaders often wonder where to start. Which areas or initiatives should you focus on to have the greatest impact?

On today’s podcast, we’re going look into our research to highlight the top four culture drivers that have the power to accelerate the health of your culture and effectiveness of your organization. We’ll look at why these four key factors are so vitally important to determining the health of your culture and HOW we know this for a fact.

Joining us are today’s host, Rachel Large, and researcher Amy Nagley. Rachel produces our podcast and along with much of our online content. And Amy conducts extensive research on our data here at BCWI.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e8-al-lopus-bcwi

We want to hear your thoughts on the content we provide each week. Would you please take our 5-minute Podcast Listener & Blog Reader Survey? https://www.research.net/r/BCWI2016ReaderSurvey 

Oct 24, 2016

What is the primary driver that differentiates a flourishing Christian workplace from others? In our research, we have found that Inspirational Leadership is the most important factor in creating a healthy culture.

Inspirational Leadership is nothing less than the presence of Christ, living in and directing a leader to influence an organization, including its culture, to bring about a part of God’s kingdom, here on earth. It has the capacity to transform and even accelerate the health of your culture and the effectiveness of your organization.

Let's dive into this important topic and discuss how it can be put to work in your ministry.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2e6-al-lopus-bcwi

Oct 17, 2016

As a leader, what’s the best way to handle a mistake you or your team has made? As an individual, how do you reconcile damaged relationships that result from a mistake? Today, we will look at what makes a meaningful, effective apology when – as the book title says – “sorry isn’t enough.”

Joining us is Dr. Jennifer Thomas, who along with New York Times best-selling author Gary Chapman, has co-authored the book, When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e5-dr-jennifer-thomas

Oct 3, 2016

Is your Human Resource department providing you the strategic value it could or should?  We are seeing a sea shift in the role Human Resources plays in the church and Christian organizations. As we have worked with hundreds of Christian organizations, we are seeing the HR role shift from being an administrative, back-office function to a strategic C-Suite or senior leadership role. 

Today we have the pleasure of talking with Giselle Jenkins, our very own Director of Human Resource Consulting. Giselle is a Christian nonprofit HR veteran with more than 20 years with the well-known ministry Prison Fellowship, and we know you will benefit from what she has to share. 

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/S2E3-giselle-jenkins-bcwi

Sep 19, 2016

Thanks for joining us today as we kick off Season 2! In our listener survey last fall, the number one topic you were interested in hearing about is how to build a trust-based culture.

Today, our Communications Coordinator, Rachel Large, is putting Al in the hot seat to teach us how to create trust in the workplace. He'll share practical tactics you can implement today t0 create a more efficient team and greater ministry impact.

Plus, get a peek behind the curtain and hear from a BCWI employee about what it's really like to work at the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. And hear a recap of our last fiscal year – these are exciting times at BCWI!

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/s2-e1-al-lopus-bcwi

Sep 12, 2016

Our research indicates that one of the top four drivers of employee engagement is what we call Sustainable Strategy. So the question we’re going to explore today is: How does a Christian faith-based organization develop and execute an effective, even sustainable, strategy?

Of the more than 700 organizations we’ve surveyed, Joni and Friends has consistently scored on the high end of this dimension. Today, we have the pleasure of visiting with their President and Chief Operating Officer, Doug Mazza.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/59-doug-mazza-joni-friends

Aug 29, 2016

Willow Creek Community Church and their senior pastor Bill Hybels have been an inspirational model for building a healthy, flourishing culture.

Bill has been very public about the transformation of Willow’s staff culture from nearly toxic to highly flourishing. Bill is the first to say, “The culture in any organization will only be as good as the top leader wants it to be.” He also knows that it takes effective “blocking and tackling on the front lines” to make it real throughout the organization.

Today, we’ve invited Sue Hood, human resources manager of staff engagement, to help us look behind the curtain to see how Willow Creek has created such a flourishing culture.

Please enjoy this listener favorite from our archives while we prepare for the launch of Season 2 in September!

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/encore-sue-hood-willow-creek.

Aug 22, 2016

Our podcast is on hiatus for a few weeks as we prepare to launch Season 2 in September. Today, we have one of the most popular episodes from our archives to share with you. Enjoy this listener favorite!

As Christian leaders, how can we most effectively achieve our organizations’ calling and purpose in these rapidly changing times? Today, Al is talking with Tami Heim, the President and CEO of Christian Leadership Alliance. Prior to CLA, Tami held key executive positions in Christian publishing after nearly 20 years as a Retail Industry executive, including a stint as the President of Borders. Listen in as Al and Tami cover a wide range of topics facing Christian leaders today.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/encore-tami-heim-christian-leadership-alliance.

Aug 15, 2016

What leadership practices in Christian organizations are having a positive, dramatic impact to effectively address a huge global problem? And how does an organization's staff culture impact its ability to change our world?

Our guest today has an answer. He leads an organization that’s addressing one of our world’s greatest problems: poverty. We're talking with Peter Greer, President and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit focused on Christ-centered job creation, savings mobilization and microenterprise development.

HOPE International takes a holistic approach to help families in poverty by investing in them. And what's more, we are convinced that their genuine care and compassion for their own staff is a huge part of the solution to poverty overall.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/58-peter-greer-hope-international

Aug 8, 2016

Seven years ago, you probably wouldn’t have wanted Tom Bennett’s job as Interim Director at Santa Fe Christian Schools in Solana Beach, California.

Sizable debt and red ink had delayed accreditation. They had no leadership team in place, no effective organizational structure and virtually no reporting lines in effect. Plus, two weeks before the school year began, the previous Head of School resigned.

When Tom stepped in, his first response was to create a new strategic plan that could turn the school around. They began by finding an objective measure of their workplace culture. The strategic plan took two years to create – a process that was both hard, yet necessary.

Today, Santa Fe Christian’s Employee Engagement Scores— indicators of overall employee satisfaction and organizational effectiveness—have increased to be in the top 20% of Christian schools. Executive leadership is solid, finances are sound and enrollment remains strong. The commitment to involve everyone and make the needed, time-consuming course corrections were worth it.

Tune in to today's interview to hear the whole story and learn how Santa Fe Christian's sustainable strategy helped create a flourishing workplace.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/57-tom-bennett-santa-fe-christian-schools

Jul 25, 2016

I’m often asked two questions: What do we need to do to improve our culture? And how long should it take to improve our organization’s culture? While there's no cut and dry answer for every organization, our guest today can attest that it takes two things: surveying your employees consistently over time, and then taking action on the results.

Today we have the privilege of talking with David Pickering, the Director of Business and Human Resources at Olivet Nazarene University, who has personally seen the improvement of his organization’s culture. For the last 12 years, he has surveyed the faculty and staff each year and helped to facilitate one of the best cultures among Christian higher education institutions. Olivet has been an innovator in the application of our engagement survey, and the results speak for themselves as engagement scores have improved significantly.

Tune into our conversation today to hear Olivet's step-by-step action planning process, which takes their survey results off the page and into action in their workplace.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/55-david-pickering-olivet-nazarene-university

Jul 18, 2016

Several studies indicate the use of 360-degree feedback helps improve performance because it provides not just one perspective of a supervisor, but rather multiple perspectives needed to identify a leader’s strengths and areas to improve. No wonder there is universal agreement that 360-degree feedback is far more credible and valid than a single-rater system.

At BCWI, we have developed a competency-based 360 Review for Christian leaders. Why? Because our engagement research proves that the Christian character of leaders is a key element of employee engagement and productivity in faith-based organizations.

Our guest today knows how true this can be for leaders and their organizations alike.  As a leader of one of the best-known Christian colleges in the United States, he has leveraged the benefits of the 360 for his leadership team. Here to talk with us about 360 degree feedback is Todd Hubers, the Vice President of People, Strategy & Technology, and a member of the president’s cabinet at Calvin College.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/54-todd-hubers-calvin-college

Jul 11, 2016

Are you experiencing a siloed culture where fruitful communication between departments is minimal at best? In his 17 years as president of Lancaster Bible College, Dr. Peter Teague has worked to overcome this very challenge. Today, their culture is marked by transparency, openness, honesty and collaboration. Join us as Peter shares the unique DNA at the heart of their flourishing culture.

Lancaster Bible College exists to educate Christian students to think and live in a biblical worldview and to proclaim Christ by serving Him in the church and society. Peter is one of the most influential leaders among Bible colleges and has played a key role in Lancaster Bible College's growth. He has also played a broader role on the board of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and in mentoring other leaders.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/53-peter-teague-lancaster-bible-college

 

Jun 27, 2016

Leading a Christian university has got to be one of the most challenging jobs in our changing society. Innovative and inspirational leadership is certainly critical for these Christian higher education institutions to not only survive, but thrive and develop the next generation of Christian leaders.

So what are some of the breakthrough strategies that are working?

Today, we have the pleasure of talking with Dr. Roger Parrott, who is in his 20th year as president of Belhaven University, located in Jackson, Mississippi. Being a university president was like joining the family business for Roger. He is a third-generation college president, and was one of America’s youngest college presidents at age 34.

Belhaven has received some of the top scores of any Christian higher education institution to take the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey. Tune into today's interview to discover the secrets to fostering an engaged faculty.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/51-roger-parrott-belhaven-university

Jun 20, 2016

Cross-cultural mission workers are some of the hardest-working people in the world, facing challenges such as living overseas in a very different culture, often with a family and responsible for raising their own support. And that’s just the start. All of this raises the question, how can we provide the organizational support necessary to help these Kingdom workers and their ministries thrive?

Now, with new research from GMI and BCWI, Ken Harder and James Nelson join us today to discuss simple but powerful leadership practices to overcome these challenges.

James has an extensive background in statistics and analytics, dedicating himself to provide ministries with actionable research. He has also served overseas as a missionary.

Ken is the co-author of the book Help Your Missionaries Thrive: Leadership Practices That Make a Difference. Ken serves as a consultant to leaders in missionary-sending organizations, and he has been the project leader as we customized the BCWI staff survey for cross cultural missionaries. He has served all over the world and lived in Kenya and East Africa for a time.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/50-ken-harder-james-nelson-gmi

Jun 13, 2016

What is the role of the Board of Directors when it comes to stewarding the health of a Christian non-profit’s employee culture? To help us with this question, our guest today is board governance expert Bob Andringa.

A respected leader in Christian higher education, Bob was president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities for 12 years and had a significant impact on governance in Christian higher ed. CCCU is the association of 175 distinctly Christian colleges and universities in 24 nations.

Some would say he retired 10 years ago, but Bob says he has “refired” as he coaches nonprofit CEOs and their boards. Adding to his “refired” life, he has also founded a new organization called Network Life, which is fueled by his passion that Christian students in secular universities to live and learn together as Christ-followers.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/49-bob-andringa

Jun 6, 2016

How do we develop the kind of Christian character that builds a healthy, even flourishing, organizational culture? This is the question we are often asked by executives in Christian organizations who want to build their ministry’s inspirational leadership.

Today, we’re going to talk with a leader who looks to answer that question every day. Doug Nuenke is the U.S. President of The Navigators, a large ministry known for establishing life-on-life discipling relationships and equipping people to make an impact on those around them for God’s glory.  He’s also the author of the books Making Waves: Being an influence for Jesus in Everyday Life and Five Traits of a Christ-Follower.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/48-doug-nuenke-navigators.  

May 16, 2016

John Maxwell says the true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.  Have you ever wondered how leaders generate influence – the kind of influence that goes into a healthy, thriving culture and drives an organization to fulfill its mission?

Today, we are not only going to talk with a leadership author, but an experienced and successful leadership practitioner with a Ph.D. on quality student outcomes among today’s Bible colleges. Join us as we talk with the President of the Association of Biblical Higher Education, Dr. Ralph Enlow. Ralph is also the author of the book, The Leader’s Palette: Seven Primary Colors.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/45-ralph-enlow-abhe

May 9, 2016

At more than 78 million strong, the Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – have surpassed the Boomers as the larger and more influential generation in America. Millennials are no longer the future of Christian ministries; they are actively engaged in leadership today. They have many wonderful characteristics that make them a great asset to the kingdom – and therefore to your Christian workplace.

Today, we’re diving into this topic with Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Thom and his son Jess (a Millennial born in 1985) present the first major investigative work on Millennials from a Christian worldview perspective in their book The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/44-thom-rainer-lifeway-christian-resources

May 2, 2016

We all know that a good workplace culture is defined by a set of guiding core values. But how do we take those values off the page and into the actions of every leader and employee? When an organization clearly defines its core values and then lives them out, it creates a ripple effect throughout all corners of the organization, and the results are revolutionary.

Our guest today is Vince Burens, President and CEO of Coalition for Christian Outreach. From its inception in 1971, CCO has been transforming college students to transform the world. Today, CCO is serving on 115 college campuses in 12 eastern states and the District of Columbia. When this interview was recorded, Vince served as vice president of staff services. Listen as Vince walks us through CCO's intensive process of creating core values, successful strategies for helping these values come alive in the organization, and the positive effects they have seen as a result.

Find the full show notes at http://blog.bcwinstitute.org/43-vince-burens-coalition-for-christian-outreach

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