Why New Employees Have the Best Organizational Perspective

Could your organizational culture use some fresh eyes?

Summary
Transcript

Leadership communicator and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley points out that the longer you are in your organization, the less aware you become of your culture. People new to the organization, however, are typically very aware of the culture and environment, but the people who have been there the longest tend to be the least aware. Andy discusses the best way to ensure that your organizational culture stays strong.

"The longer you are in your division, department, church, organization, or business, the longer you're there, the less aware you will become of the culture. It's just a true," Andy says.

Watch this video and evaluate yourself and your organizational perspective.

This is huge. Time in erodes awareness of. Time in erodes awareness of. The longer you are in your division, department, church, organization, or business, the longer you're there, the less aware you will become of the culture. It's just a true. The new people, they will smack up against your culture like, "Whoa, it's so great," or "Whoa, that's awful," or "Whoa, why did they do that?", or "Whoa, I should have thought of this." The people who've been there a long time, you're not even aware of it.

Years ago we built a house and while we were building the house I was with the builder one day, my wife wasn't there, unfortunately, and we were going to put these outlets on the wall so that you can, this is so cool, you probably all have these, you hang a picture and there's an outlet and then you can plug a light in to light your picture but you don't have to have a wire going down. They're called . . . you know what I'm talking about? No? There's a name for them, I don't know what you call them. Basically, so you have an outlet where you're going to hang a picture and you hang a picture over the outlet and you can plug a light. Anyway, so the builder's saying to me, "Where do you want these," this is in our dining room, "Where do you want these?" And I'm like, "Oh, well, I'll tell you where to put them." Bad idea.

So I tell him where to put these outlets on the wall, so now you have an outlet on the wall about this high up that you can hang a picture on. Well, if you don't put it in the right place you have an outlet on your wall, so you have to hang a picture because otherwise there's a picture and oh, you have an outlet on your wall. It's just odd. Okay? So I chose poorly, okay? They're in the wrong place.

So we move into our house, we're moving into the dining room, we're setting up the dining room table, and Sandra, she'd already seen it and she's trying to be nice. She's going, "Those are in the wrong place." So what did we do? We took some little pictures and we hung them over the outlets because you don't want people to walk in and go "Oh, there's an outlet six feet up." Okay, so we hung those little pictures there, finished decorating the house, we get going, and guess what we after a while didn't see anymore? We didn't see those little itty-bitty undersized pictures hanging over those ugly outlets in our dining room. They disappeared. We didn't see it anymore. Why? Because we live there every day.

I guarantee you anybody with a half an ounce of decorating sense who visited our house would walk through the house and look in the dining room and go, "I wonder why they hung those little itty-bitty pictures in the middle of that big old wall." But are they going to say anything to us? "Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, could you come in your dining room for a second? What's up with that?" No, but they got in the car and they drove home after dinner going "They need a decorator." Why? Because the longer you live with something, after a while you don't see it.

This is so true of your culture, I'm telling you. There are things in your culture that are absolutely invisible to you. They're invisible to you because time in erodes awareness of. One of the things that we do to help with is, we'll talk a little bit more about this, I think, in Session 2 or Session 3, is we give all of our new employees a three-month and twelve-month evaluation where they evaluate our organization. They get an e-mail from my office that says, "Please answer the following questions," and we're not evaluating them. They're evaluating us because we need fresh eyes.

The only way to make sure our culture stays strong organizationally is to leverage the fresh eyes of new people in our organization. So they get a list of questions from me at three months and a list at twelve months. One of the questions is, I wrote this in my notes, "Do you see anything in our organization that is off purpose or that doesn't make sense in light of our mission statement? Do you see anything in our organization is off purpose or that doesn't make sense in light of our mission?" See, I think everything lines up perfectly, but I'm the boss, of course I do. My eyes are worthless, but I'm telling you, because you have got to build into your organization ways to leverage the fresh eyes and the fresh ears of new people because the longer you're there the less aware you're going to be.

Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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