No - this post will not be about Christianity per se. You don’t have to worry.
That said I am a Christian and proud member of the Salvation Army and I wanted to share something I observed during two (actually) spiritual days. Something that I think is sorely missing in business today. Something crucial.
I’m not talking about God now - although he’s often out of the picture too :)
I have the great honor and joy to be part of the Salvation Army leadership board in Sweden. It’s the first time the Salvation Army is trying having a representative for its members (aka Salvation Army solider) on its board. Not in Sweden but worldwide. Quite the honor, for me!
And the difference is vast, y’all. Well, in many regards we are talking about much of the same things; finance, staffing, and program. But other topics usually don’t come up on a normal board. Church-stuff like; evangelism, planting new churches, social work, and collections.
But that thing that got me thinking was when I was invited to a “spiritual day”. During the day we had a sermon, studied the bible and did a workshop on a passage in the bible and generally were “before God”. Together.
On my way home I was thinking:
I’ve never done anything like that. What would this be for a “normal” company?
Because I’ve done spiritual days like that before, but never with a working group.
What did we do? We stopped before the topics that are core to the purpose of our whole existence. The Salvation Army is a church and hence God and Christianity are at the core of everything we do. May it be finance-discussions or our social work or the service we give/hold - they are all driven by a love of God and hope that more people will find his greatness.
But in a … a software company, or a bank, or a food retailer. What is driving us? Why are we here? How often do you gather in a “spiritual” day to go deep on those topics? To reflect and meditate (yes I mean it) over how the purpose of the company will / can be better realized through me. You. Us.
What I found particularly fascinating was that we were all equals when pondering these big questions. No CFO or HR manager. Just how I reflected on the values in my own life. And by sharing this I got to know my fellow board members better and much deeper than before. That bound us closer together.
I have seldom taken part in activities like that but I found great value in starting to think about it. Even putting a topic for such a day was a good exercise for me.
Right now I’m working at a “school”, a boot camp for programmers. What would be the topic for a day before our purpose? Quality? Around the students? Knowing deeper how education works? I will most certainly recommend that we hold one of these days soon and will report back.
What would you want to stop and meditate on in your company? With your department? With your team?
Do you? What did you learn?