3 min read

347: How an Effective Organization Achieves Its Mission and Goals

347: How an Effective Organization Achieves Its Mission and Goals

Creating a flourishing workplace culture doesn’t have to be overly complicated. But it does take intentionality and effort. Doug Mazza is President Emeritus of Joni and Friends. Doug was with Joni and Friends from 1999 to 2019, overseeing an era of tremendous growth in the ministry.


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In this episode:

  • What does the rhythm of your days look like now? (03:24)
  • There is no such thing as retirement. (03:39)
  • "I'm honored to be on the board of Best Christian Workplaces. That comes from a long time of being a user, client, and a believer. It had such an impact at Joni and Friends. I am so grateful for the professionalism of BCWI and then asked to be on the board. I'm a disciple of the work you do."  (04:02)
  • Staying with people with disabilities (04:53)
  • Here at Best Christian Workplaces, we have been able to pinpoint specific factors of flourishing workplaces based on years of Employee Engagement Survey data. Inspirational leadership is a key factor in flourishing. And sometimes that inspiration is most important when we find ourselves in hard places. In my newly released book, Road to Flourishing, you share about a time midway through your tenure at Joni and Friends when workplace culture was in a decline. You said that to return to a culture of excellence, “It would take all of us in senior management to put our pride and fears in absolute check.”  Share with us what you learned about leadership and inspiration as you helped the ministry move past that difficult season. (05:15)
  • It was disheartening to be putting in a lot of effort and not seeing the results we wanted. We were having difficulty with our culture. Getting the culture right is essential to our success.  (06:22)
  • When we measure our success, it will come from the culture we build (06:52)
  • We took a hard look at our culture and came up with four pillars of improvement that set the stage for the kind of culture we were going to build at Joni at Friends (07:21)
  • The first pillar Lead like Jesus (07:34)
  • The second pillar is Integration (09:11)
  • Integration at its highest level produces an extraordinary quantity and builds a great culture in an organization, Integration means inclusion from the bottom up (09:19)
  • The third pillar is excellence in your area of expertise (11:06)
  • Hiring people who are really good at what they do (11:11)
  • The fourth pillar is using Best Christian Workplaces (12:34)
  • You can't serve people outside of the organization better than you serve people inside the organization (13:12)
  • If you can measure it, you can manage it. Everything else is way too objective (15:31)
  • Most employees looked forward to taking the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey (15:58)
  • God certainly moved through the ministry during your 20 years in leadership – expanding the reach and impact. You were able to attract and retain a great team of strong leaders for the ministry. How did you go about identifying and equipping leaders? (18:33)
  • We had a process that began at the front door. The HR department knows the kind of applicant they're looking for (19:03)
  • Share with us how you determined that your season was coming to a close and it was time for a new leader at Joni and Friends. What were some specific steps you took for a successful process of transition? (25:12)
  • When you have Joni Eareckson Tada as a founder the succession plan is that the founder needs to be overwhelmed by the effectiveness of the organization in reaching its mission and goals (28:10)
  • Great insights into communication and teamwork. Another factor in a flourishing workplace is sustainable strategy. You shared some insight into decision-making and new ideas in Road to Flourishing. What are the 4 questions that you ask to evaluate a new ministry initiative?  (32:29)
  • Does your idea directly serve the mission statement? (33:05)
  • You have so many layers of rich experience and a strong track record as an effective Christian leader. But above all that, you seem to keep your focus on what matters—on following God and serving others. What practices have helped you keep your soul flourishing over the years? (37:14)
  • Praise God before you put your feet on the floor (39:23)
  • Encourage someone (39:47)


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