Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

The DADI Plan Part 2

When it comes to making intentional faith-at-work connections, it happens best when the connections are specific, measurable and relevant. 

Last week I introduced a "thought template" called The DADI Plan. Today, I'll complete the process by explaining the final step in the Plan: Implementation. 

When it comes to being intentional about living out the implications of our faith in the workplace, our aspirations will remain in the realm of "good intentions" until there is a S.M.A.R.T. plan of action:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-Oriented

Although the S.M.A.R.T. acronym is often attributed to Peter Drucker, is believed to have first been coined by George T. Doran, in the November, 1981, issue of Management Review. For a concise explanation of S.M.A.R.T., see the Wayne State University summary here.       
The point is, a good plan of implementation has specific and measurable objectives that are not only attainable (no "pie-in-the-sky"), but relevant to our situation, and accomplished within a certain time-frame (not "by-and-by").

In the case of Don Flow, whom I am using here as an example, if he were employing The DADI Plan to think through the implications of his faith for customer service, the final step in his DADI Plan process might look something like this:

I will put kiosks into the showroom floor that will enable employees to show customers all the information they need to make a good decision regarding the purchase of a car.

I will require employees to give customers a realistic estimate of the time it will take to fix their cars, with the commitment that if it takes longer, we will deliver the car at our own inconvenience--not the customer's.

I will require my employees to make only one call to explain the repairs needed, and the price. If the problem is misdiagnosed and the problem costs more, we will eat the difference.

If we do not fix the car right the first time, we will not charge for the second. If it takes a second time, we will pick up the car and return it fully detailed, with a full tank of gas.

I will implement these policies over the next 9 months.

For a copy of the complete DADI Plan as I speculate Don Flow might have filled one out, based on what I know about his beliefs and practices, click here. 

Click on the names below for more samples:

William Wilberforce

George Washington Carver

For a blank electronic template to use for yourself, click here  [Downloaded Word file.]

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Friday, February 20, 2015

The DADI Plan

When it comes to being intentional about aligning daily work with the "bigger picture" of a biblical worldview [contextualizing it], The DADI Plan is a helpful tool (pronounced daddy).

This contextualizing aid has five parts:

Part 1: Write down a specific workplace activity you want to align with the biblical world-and-life view. For example, if you were Don Flow, CEO of Flow Automotive, you might write: "I want to live out the full implications of my faith in the context of customer service within my company." 

If you have not done so, please view Flow's SPU speech here.

Part 2: Identify biblical truths you have discovered from Scripture that relate directly to what you identified in Part 1. Write these as "I believe" statements. For example, if you were Don Flow, you might write: "I believe God actively moves in our daily lives to give us opportunities to care for people in the name of Christ. I believe every individual is created, loved and sustained by God, and thus they are worthy of utmost respect and deserve extraordinary service regardless of their behavior or station in life."

For help with biblical truths, click here.

Part 3: List several ways you could apply the beliefs identified in Step 2 to the objective stated in Step 1. Write these as "I could" statements. This is your vision of "what could be." For example, Don Flow might write: "I could put relationships ahead of transactions. I could treat each customer like a valued friend or a guest in my home. I could be transparent and open with each customer throughout the entire process of purchasing a car, or getting one repaired."

Part 4: Identify specific training, research or preparation you must develop in order to be successful. Write these as "I must" statements. Don Flow might write: "I must train all of my employees (many of whom are not believers) to treat each customer as a 'valued friend' or 'guest in the home.' I must put company policies into place that will reinforce the implications of the biblical worldview."

Part 5 is implementation. This will take more space than I have left in today's post. Tune in next week.

In the meantime, try your hand at Part 1-4, when you can get away to a quiet, undisturbed place.

Enlarge this image by clicking on it once. Come back to this page by clicking the small "X" you will see.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Intentionality Is Key

Intentionality is the key to putting "theology of work" to work. 

In the past two posts, we have seen examples of followers of Christ making intentional alignments between biblical truth and their daily work: Jack van Hartesvelt, who buys and sells hotels, and Don Flow, who sells and services automobiles. 

The key to successful contextualization of faith and work is intentionality. Of course, prayer is essential, and apart from God's enabling grace we are helpless. But sitting down outside of the workplace and thinking through how we can align our work with the biblical worldview is something people like Jack van Hartesvelt and Don Flow have done. At the risk of being redundant: intentionality is key. 

Over the past month, I have shared specific questions to ask when it comes to contextualizing our work. Those questions, along with some I did not include in my posts, are available to you in a single document here: "Questions for Contextualizing Work."

Here's another document you will find useful: "Signs That I Have A Well-Developed Theology Of Work."

Carrying these documents in your wallet or on your smart phone is good. Reading blog posts and saying to yourself, "that's a good idea!" is also good. But not good enough. What it takes, is slowing down long enough to think intentionally about how you can contextualize your faith in your specific workplace. 

I have discovered over the years that giving people practical tools for this process helps. With this in mind, I have developed a number of simple tools for this purpose, and I'll share one of them with you next week.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

How To Align Cars With A Biblical Worldview

Examples of Christ-followers who contextualize their faith in real workplaces are extremely helpful. Last week, we looked at Jack van Hartesvelt, who made a conscious choice to apply what he was hearing on Sunday to the work he was doing on Monday as a hotel investment negotiator.

This week, I want to share another inspiring example: Don Flow, CEO of Flow Automotive. Flow runs a car sales and service company with 32 dealerships in the North Carolina area of the USA.

Most people don't put "Christianity" and "car sales" in the same sentence. For Don Flow, they cannot be separated. Living out the implications of his faith in the real world of automotive sales and service is where his drive comes from. Thinking through how his company could align policy and practice with the biblical worldview has made a dramatic difference in the way Flow Automotive sells and services cars.

In an interview by Al Erisman in Ethix magazine, Flow said: 

"We don’t have the traditional run back and forth negotiating process; we have a pricing structure that’s set. You don’t have to be a tough negotiator, or more educated, to get a fair price. If you’ve got a Ph. D. or if you’re a janitor, you’ll pay the same price for the vehicle. We did a study and found that the people who typically paid the least for the cars were the most able to pay. Those least able to pay, paid the most. For me, it was wrong to take advantage of the least able."

"We want to be transparent to our customers. We share all of our information with them. In our appraisal process of a car, we go online together with the customer, pull up all the auction reports, Kelley Blue Book, NADA Black Book. We have kiosks in our showroom floors so people can go online. So we try to accommodate the customer at every step, in the way they’d like to buy a car. In our operating principle, the customer is in control of the process, and our job is to help the customer in that process."

Several years ago I heard Don Flow give a speech at Seattle Pacific University. I asked permission to edit his remarks, and I invite you to watch this 4-minute clip, to get a picture of how to align cars with a biblical worldview:

If this video does not play, click here. 

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