Genesis Day 50: Creating a New Culture…The Middle (Part 2 of 3)
“It’s a mess.” That is what I thought. We were in the middle of trying to transform ourselves, and our company. When you are halfway there, you still have “large chunks” of your life, your work, your company—that when you look at them—it appears as if nothing has changed. Then, you turn and look at where you are trying to get to, and it can seem so far off, and the obstacles seemingly huge.
What’s the solution? You know you cannot go back to the way things were. What do you do?
Answer: Reclaim the vision.
I have been suggesting that as we read chapters 30-32 of Genesis, we are witnessing the transformation of a man and a family. This is not just any family. It is the family God will use to launch the nation of Israel. My description started one post earlier with thoughts about Genesis 30.
The reality is the transformation was launched through an encounter with God: Jacob’s famous ladder (Genesis 28). I called it Jacob’s defining moment. That is when Jacob caught God’s Vision—and it will be this Vision that will lead Jacob.
That’s what Vision does—it serves as a bright light in the fog of change and confusion—to guide us to our destination.
And to be clear—really clear—following the Vision is hard work. Seeing the Vision – and articulating it – does not guarantee transformation. No, that comes with hard work.
Consider Jacob. He picks up and moves his entire operation. He doesn’t do this willy-nilly. No, God tells him to do it.
You might still be wondering about linking the changing of corporate culture to the Bible. My simple assertion is two-fold, as I mentioned yesterday. First, God owns everything. Second, changing culture is about the human heart—and God is a master heart surgeon.
Consider the size of Jacob’s endeavor. It’s big.
Beyond its “bigness” there are issues:
- Rachel steals some of her father’s idols. She is hanging onto the past.
- Then Laban finds out and pursues Jacob. He wants to drag Jacob back to the past.
- Plus, what awaits Jacob? Esau (the older brother Jacob fled from because he was going to be killed by him). If that’s not a barrier to this new life, I don’t know what is!
The sum of those forces is substantial—and all of them are trying to prevent Jacob from becoming who God is calling him to become. All of them require work to get closer to the Vision.
One post earlier I described 4 of the steps needed to change behavior:
- Describe the new behaviors.
- Consciously coach to achieve them.
- Courageously admit to our people when we are acting the old way.
- Humbly ask for their help to behave the way we want to behave.
But in the "middle" you can get "muddled". The forces trying to drag you back are strong, and obstacles to achieving the future loom large. You need to reclaim the Vision—you need God.
Consider chapter 31 of Genesis. Go back and look at it (vv. 3-13). You will find God showing up. He and His Name have not been mentioned much since chapter 28. Jacob has been grinding away for 20 years. Yet at this critical moment, God shows up in another dream, and Jacob’s confidence for his next bold step is bolstered.