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How to Build a Learning Culture By Michelle Wilson

To build a learning culture, Focus on the Family is aware of the need to identify committed, invested individuals during the hiring process. Creating an organizational culture of lifelong learning will be impossible if team members are not committed to the mission.

That is why our Recruitment Department created a list of “6 C’s” — six attributes we look for in each new hire or prospective team member.

If any of these areas is lacking during the interview process, we seriously reconsider whether the potential employee is compatible with Focus on the Family’s mission and culture. So here are the attributes we look for in all our applicants:

(1) Calling

Does the team member have a strong Christian walk? Do potential managers and executive team members know their personal purpose and a sense of their calling specifically to Focus on the Family? (Eph. 2:10)

(2) Character

Will the team member sign our statement of faith, and does his or her references and background check reflect strong character? Do management and executive candidates demonstrate personal and spiritual maturity? (Gal. 5:22)

(3) Competence

Is the candidate teachable, with adequate knowledge, skills, and experience? Do management and executive candidates display both demonstrated and proven levels of experience? (2 Cor. 3:5)

(4) Compatibility

Will the candidate be a good fit for the team? Does he or she have a reasonable awareness of the organization? Do management and executive candidates know, even intimate knowledge, of Focus? (1 Cor. 12:14, 18)

(5) Convictions

Does the potential team member agree with a basic Christian worldview? Do management and executive candidates have a deeper knowledge of, and passion for, that same worldview? (Psalm 119:31)

(6) Compensation

 Are prospective team members agree with the ministry’s compensation and benefits package?
(1 Tim. 6:6-11, 17)

Candidates who rank high in these “6 C’s” stand the best chance of making excellent Focus on the Family team members. And because the criteria for each category have become more rigorous for management and executive-level positions, we feel confident that team members who demonstrate the “6 C’s” will fit well with our organization’s commitment to lifelong learning in professional and ministerial settings.

Again, team members already invested in and committed to the organization’s mission and values are the best mentors and learners.

The future looks bright when cultivating the next generation of leadership here at Focus on the Family. I believe that strong leaders often carry forward God’s plan — his story. We see this repeatedly in the Bible. We can learn from those examples, not only those found in Scripture but throughout history, and take inspiration from them.

My passion is to identify and help develop the next generation of leaders — the gifted men and women who will help lead Focus on the Family further into the 21st century with humility, vision, and character. It’s exciting and fulfilling to be a part of this process.

How do your hiring practices support the culture of your organization?


Michele Wilson is the senior vice president of Human Resources for Focus on the Family. She has served with Focus since 2001. Previously, she spent six years at David C. Cook and 19 years as a missionary with her husband, Mick. Wilson has a Master’s in Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University, an SPHR certification, and serves on the Board of OC International. This post is an excerpt from the 2013 Summer edition of Outcomes Magazine.


What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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