Last week Nancy and I were privileged to attend Hope International‘s Leadership Summit in Lancaster, PA. This annual event gathers the entire staff team, including the people scattered internationally. We were guests and enjoyed the organization’s hospitality. The people assigned to care for us and everyone else we met were warm, open, and eager to serve. As we interacted with the staff, we noticed that everyone modeled and verbalized organizational values and behaviors. The organization is doing a remarkable job building its corporate culture. This level of organizational excellence must be built intentionally and modeled by the organizational leaders. So, I was particularly interested in observing and learning about the CEO, Peter Greer.
Nancy and I toured the offices which were notably unimpressive. Most staff work in small open cubicles. The rest are in small offices with doors. There was no extravagance, no expensive artwork, no fancy furniture, and no sense of space hierarchy. In fact, Peter Greer works from one of the smallest of the small offices. Clearly working efficiency is more important that aesthetic pleasure for that organization.
However, the organizational marketing materials are very attractive. Even internal pieces such as the summit program booklet are pleasant to look at, comprehensive, and easy to navigate. The people responsible for these pieces exhibit professional pride in their work. They care about the organization’s image. This value is reinforced with a stories we heard about Peter Greer. For example, he has been seen cleaning the kitchen area at the beginnings and endings of work days.
A third organizational value that I admire is Hope International’s attention to metrics. They know what they want to accomplish and they have systems in place to measure their progress. I was not overwhelmed by numbers. However, the numbers told stories of progress, success and failure. During the summit, success was celebrated and failure was acknowledged with a commitment to change and improve.
It is very encouraging to see an organization doing well as it does good. Congratulations to Hope International and to your leader, Peter Greer!