In this book, Dr. Chand lays out a very practical and useful roadmap for any leader within a church organization who wishes to bring about positive change. Chand writes from the perspective that culture is the most important factor in determining an organization's success, and thus the key to breaking out of a lack of inspiration or growth is to change the culture of institution. Cultural change can occur at any level, Chand frequently states, but he also consistently writes as if he is speaking to those with the highest levels of authority in the organization. So while the book is certainly a valuable resource for anyone within the offices and leadership of a church, senior pastors, elders, and department heads will find Chand's book most helpful.
The strength of the book is in Chand's experience and the practicality of his advice to leaders at how to best go about changing the culture of a church organization. Chand has spent years in leadership positions, and he balances stories of his personal experience with lessons learned throughout the book. If you are looking for a practical, in-the-trenches guide to navigating your ministry through major change, this book is a great resource. Chand thoroughly covers every step along the way of changing a culture, giving leaders a helpful resource to navigate the often-treacherous waters of change.
This is certainly not a theological work on the nature of the church, nor is it a book on church growth (although church growth is discussed). Chand does not give much room for the spiritual aspects of church culture and leadership. In many ways, by merely replacing every instance of the word "church" with "company" in the book, the principles and advice Chand provides would be just as applicable. With how much emphasis Chand places on the leader as impetus for cultural change, I would have hoped to see more discussion and application of biblical models of leadership and culture.
Overall, this book would be a helpful resource for any church leader or pastor seeking a practical guide to bringing about change at the leadership level of the church.
Culture eats vision for lunch! You can change the look of the platform but nothing has changed until you address the culture.
Samuel Chand presents a great look at what prevents successful change and transition in "Cracking Your Church's Culture Code."
Chand presents the idea that it is a church's culture that needs to be addressed even more so than an eloquently articulated vision or strategy. Culture is about the people, and deep lasting change will never happen unless the culture is addressed. Presenting vision, implementing strategy and not addressing the deep issues of culture will result in resistance to the vision and strategy.
He identifies five categories of church culture - Inspiring, Accepting, Stagnant, Discouraging and Toxic - and goes on to give some of the defining characteristics of each category. Once the category has been determined, Chand provides seven leverage points that can specifically be addressed to change the culture. He uses an acronym of the word CULTURE; Control, Understanding, Leadership, Trust, Unafraid, Responsive, Execution. Chand also anticipates many of the key issues that will arise during times of organizational culture shift.
Having served on two churches that attempted significant transitions, this book could have been used a few years before it was actually written! This is a book that every church leader who is looking to impact deep long-lasting change should have.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the this book for the purposes of blogging about it from Leadership Network.
This book describes and defines the normal personality types that are found in organizational cultures. Dr. Chand gives the characteristics of the different types and categorizes them in the following ways: inspiring, accepting, stagnated, discouraging and toxic. The author does not leave the reader with simply the ability to identify which personality his organization has but also helps the reader formulate steps for correcting and changing a culture that is not inspiring.
He provides the reader with 7 keys of culture that forms an acrostic. They are control, understanding, leadership, trust, unafraid, responsive and execution - spelling out the word culture. He declares the first and most important step toward changing a culture is insight into these 7 keys.
This is a book that every person in an organization should read and reread in order to be reminded of the importance of people and how they treat each other from the very top to the very bottom. Dr. Chand makes it very clear that it is well-nigh impossible for a church or any organization to effectively fulfill their mission if they have an unhealthy culture. This book can help you get to the root of why your church or organization may be failing. Often leaders have sought to correct a failing organization by installing a new game plan with strategies, programs or projects instead of addressing the un-Christlike character of their culture.
This book provided some missing pieces for me as a ministry design coach. It helped me build a framework for assessing the health of any organization and develop pathways to bring about needed change. I have added this book to my recommended reading list and it will be a vital part of my coaching services going forward.