What president or CEO wouldn’t want to cultivate the kind of transparency and trust that can generate staff unity, organizational effectiveness and ministry impact? But what if turbulent events preceding your arrival meant you had to essentially start from a deficit position?
When Bill Blocker came to the College of Biblical Studies in Houston as incoming president he had his work cut out.
Blocker, who brought years of experience in administrative, educational and pastoral experience to the school, chose to lead by learning. “When it came to our staff leadership, there was no shortage of excellence, but rather a lack of execution.”
“My first objective was that everyone own the mission and come to the table with excitement and urgency,” says Blocker. “By honoring the dignity and strength of every individual, and by realizing each of us and all of us are representing God in our work, our mission from a statement that informs to a commitment that inflames a common passion.
“A second objective was to complement our strategic planning team with a cross-functional team that involved every single full-time faculty and staff. By involving everyone across educational disciplines and staff department, we began developing a common language while working off the same page.
By honoring each person’s giftedness and participation, the college’s senior leadership and staff practices the transparency that deepens trust in each other. Says Blocker, “Both individually and in our workplace, all of us realize our mutual source of strength and trust is Jesus, himself; He is the vine and we are the branches. If your organization is rooted in a healthy source, you will have healthy fruit.
Blocker’s vision, tended in the fertile soil of a mutual trust and desire to serve one another has yielded one irresistible piece of fruit. Each month faculty and staff gather for “CBS Live!” The crowd energy, involvement and fun is a mirror image of “The Price Is Right.” Brief reports from VP’s, a financial update give way to a chosen faculty profile, lively birthday celebrations and a time of prayer.
“If your culture is healthy, people will come alongside you and want to work with you, says Blocker. “We’re creating an atmosphere of authenticity. Ours is a community in which I believe there are no secrets. Our people know that being the greatest is only possibly by being a servant of all. Now that’s true collaboration.”
What’s the best employee “fit” for your ministry organization? This Houston based Christian college you’ve probably never heard of believes their approach can and will make a difference.
This is the first of a two-part series highlighting the College of Biblical Studies. A podcast with Dr. Bill Blocker describing their road to building a flourishing culture will accompany the next post.