Bad Culture Eats Good Vision

Bad culture eats good vision…

I don’t know who said it first. I’ve heard it several times. I’d love to give credit for it’s author, but I just don’t know.

I do know the phrase helps shape my thoughts as a leader…

Bad culture eats good vision…

You can have the greatest vision…

You can have an incredible plan…

You can be cleverly strategic…

You can have the best of intentions…

But…

Bad culture eats good vision…

Every time….

Display seeds of dishonesty…

Spread some gossip…

Throw a little laziness in the equation…

Embrace complacency…

Have a controlling leader…

Let momentum dwindle…

Resist change…

Name the bad culture…

It will eat a hearty meal on your vision…

You know why?

Because…

Bad culture eats good vision…

I love whoever said that…

It almost seems to make culture as important as vision…

Moral of this story: Always build and maintain a healthy culture so you can protect your vision…

Have you seen bad culture eat a good vision?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 22 Comments

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  • Mark says:

    Great post-
    I’ve seen this as well. I don’t think it matters how strong the vision, a bad culture will kill it everytime. Whether right away or a couple years down. I view vision as what is supposed to be and the culture is the soil to grow it. When the culture is healthy, the vision is fulfilled healthy. Gotta clean out the soil. Culture Shifts are very tough, but so worth it. We are now on the tail end of a 3year culture shift. Dang! Don’t want to do that again.
    Thanks Ron
    Twitter: markwargo

  • […] The answer is critical before responding. I know I can’t please everyone. Some individuals are simply going to disagree with the way I or our church does something. I will listen to the complaint and respond to even the individual criticism, but when there is a growing tension among the masses, the issue demands more attention. It may not alter my response, but it does alter the intensity of my response. I realize when a larger number have the same complaint or criticism that it may lead to a “bad culture that eats good vision”. (I wrote about that principle HERE.) […]

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  • Jay Stearley says:

    The organization I serve with is working through a job covenant process; not only to create clarity of expectations, but to further build a healthy culture. Culture undermine's vision any day.

  • So true Ron! Becuase of bad culture, people leave some great organization.

  • D. Lake says:

    Given what Chris said – I understand the importance of systems. Finding the system that works, especially for young church, is the challenge. How practically does Grace Community Church help create the desired culture? Thanks for the insight.

  • Powerful insights in this one Ron. Love it.

  • Lea Presnedi says:

    Oh this is so true. Posting this on my wall. Thanks again Pastor Ron. =)

  • Bill Smith says:

    I have to tell you, this was a great thought!! I do a ton of reading and teaching on leadership and the way you put this one really struck me this morning. To take it further, just yesterday we had a huge conversation how the situation we are in (culture) is killing what were doing and where we want to go (vision.) Decisions are being made that will hurt things further because we have allowed the culture to digress to the point of despair and when despair hits, then we become desperate and the decisions usually become even worse, especially when the leader isn't good under pressure. Great post!!

  • Chris says:

    I am big on systems. Systems creates environments. In this case, systems creates your culture. Doesnt matter at the end of the day what the vision, if the culture stinks, then well. Well said Ron.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Chris. I love systems too. We had some failed communication issues to address recently and I reminded our team it always goes back to systems.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • @onepursuit says:

    So true! I think on some level, we all want to connect with a vision that is bigger and better than ourselves. We want to invest our lives in something positive, something that resonates with us, something we can believe in. Nothing kills that kind of enthusiasm faster than seeing bad character exposed in the leadership — and that's what "bad culture" (as you've described it) sounds like.

  • Eric says:

    This is very true. I haven't thought about the correlation between vision and such. I know they're important but the two are vitally connected. I guess it's like having the best intentions but if you don't have the moral character to see it through then you are wasting your time.
    Twitter: ericspeir

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Eric. That's a great line…."best intentions…without moral character…waste of time…"
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

      • chris vonada says:

        “Morality, then, seems to be concerned with three things. Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals. Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonising the things inside each individual. Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole: what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.” C.S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity.

        C.S. nailed down the connection between harmony and character… which is a huge part of the "culture" that one surrounds himself with.

  • Going through some of that right now with a very strong personality person. He is trying to get things his way, being done his way, even to the point of telling the other leaders that I need to live according to "his pie chart" for my time and activities. He is a dampening spirit. he is also not part of the leadership team. Thanks for the encouragement today.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Strong personalities, if they work against the vision, the leadership or everyone else are a big part of bad culture.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

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