The Future of Faith in Business

Harvey Cox, TheologianHarvey Cox, a professor from Harvard University, presented a terrific talk on the future of faith. His speech to the Westminster Town Hall Forum, here in Minneapolis (hear the talk), followed the outline of his book of the same name and painted an optimistic picture for people of faith. One of his key points was that religion is changing and becoming a more personal experience, shifting away from strict dogma. People are searching out and embracing similarities between religions, drawing strength from those similarities and rejecting firm rules and hard boundaries.

These same trends are impacting businesses across the economy. No longer are employees or customers willing to accept the dogma or hard rules of the past. “That’s policy” doesn’t cut the mustard in dealing with issues when alternatives are as close as the Internet. The options available have never been greater…and neither have the opportunities.

Customers can shop anywhere. The Internet makes it possible. This ability is driving products and even services to commodity status. Only genuine, tailored, and unique solutions provide meaningful differentiation. Companies must create close relationships in order to identify and take advantage of those opportunities.

Linked HandsEmployees play a critical role in creating those relationships. They are as smart and capable as ever, loyal and wanting to make a difference for their companies. Modern technology makes it possible for teammates throughout an organization to connect and discover new ways to provide value for their customers. As leaders, it’s up to us to create the environment where these connections can be made and creativity unleashed. When we do, good things happen. When we don’t, the same technology that creates opportunities also makes it possible for our employees to find new places to work.

It’s an exciting time to be a business leader. These trends are making companies more honest and responsive to their stakeholders. Employees in these companies are more engaged and productive than ever before. The solutions these teams are creating are better and more effective for customers than ever before. Great companies are riding these trends.

Are you?


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