Worth Reading: Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code

“Culture – not vision and strategy – is the most powerful factor in any organization.”

Samuel Chand brings a much needed perspective to the hype over mission statements and strategy with the book Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code. Why do great strategies not produce results? “culture eats strategy for lunch. You can have a good strategy in place, but if you don’t have the culture and enabling systems, the negative culture of the organization will defeat the strategy.” As a leader who is tasked with helping churches strategize and revitalize for effective ministry this book has been very helpful to me and will be for anyone in church or secular leadership. Dr. Chand defines culture as “the personality of the church or nonprofit” and in the book he gives you insight on how to identify problem cultures, how to influence culture positively and negatively, and how to change a negative/defective culture. The author uses many personal stories and real life examples from his work as a leadership consultant, making the  book easy to read. Well worth reading for any leader interested in organizational effectiveness.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • Culture – not vision and strategy – is the most powerful factor in any organization.
  • Toxic culture is like carbon monoxide: you don’t see it or smell it, but you wake up dead!
  • Healthy teams are pipelines of leadership development. …an organization is only as healthy as the pool of rising leaders.
  • developing people is far more essential in creating a healthy culture than training people in specific skills.
  • Managers get the most out of themselves. Leaders get the most out of others.
  • Healthy teams foster the perspective that failure isn’t a tragedy and conflict isn’t the end of the world.
  • We can rearrange boxes on an org chart in a moment, but changing culture is heart surgery.
  • Loyalty earned is a beautiful thing, but loyalty demanded is toxic.
  • Our ability to connect with people, earn their trust, invite their opinions, and inspire them is the most important trait we bring – even more important than our experiences and skills.
  • the sickest cultures are those that close their doors to new ideas.
  • How do we know if a vision is from God? One of the measures is that it has to be something so big that it requires God’s wisdom and power to pull it off.
  • Most church leaders use their vision statements to say yes, but they rarely us it to say no and eliminate options.
  • The conundrum of leadership is this: people want improvement, but they resist change.

About Lane Corley

I am - Follower of Jesus Christ - Husband to the beautiful and patient Heather Corley - Father of three. - Church Planter / Church Planting Strategist with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. - When I can, I’m reading, raised bed gardening, deer hunting, and on mission with my church. - Hoping to be helpful.

Posted on February 1, 2011, in Books worth reading, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have yet to read this book. Looks like something I really need to get my teeth into.

    LifeCity Church Canberra

  1. Pingback: Good Reads in 2011 « Lane Corley

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