What to do with time

This month, the WEA Business Coalition published a discussion paper following the Congress of Christian Leaders. Under the title of Compromised Christians, they point to 10 areas where evangelical Christians leaders have possibly, ‘internalised the mindset of contemporary capitalism’.

The first point is on the use of time. They say,

1. … live too fast. More is more. We are always busy (even if “it is for the Lord”). To be a workaholic is not judged a sin.
BUT time is the currency of relationship, and Christians believe in a relational God. God made the 7th day as a day of rest, to protect families and low-income workers (Ex. 20:8-11, Deut. 5:12-15); he commanded that the land should rest every 7th year (Lev. 25:1-7); and he arranged rest for every 50th year too (Lev. 25:8-13). These commands are shadows of what is to come (Colossians 1:16). Christians should honour the Lord by expressing the principle of rest in ways appropriate to their situation, and in accordance with their own conscience (Romans 14:5), always showing particular care for the marginalised in society.
Read the rest of the paper on the New Zealand Christian Network site

The use of time came up again on Sunday, when our pastor shared a video of an interview of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two of the wealthiest men in the world. Buffett gave a glimpse of his diary, which isn’t as full as maybe we’d expect.

I’m trying to think through how I spend my time. Time for work, time for family but also time for resting, thinking, time with God. I’m trying hard not to think I always need to be busy.

Incidentally, I think working hard and always being busy are two different things. You can work hard without having to have every minute filled with things to do.

If Ferrari can change, can’t the rest of us?

When it comes to Formula 1, there’s one car marque that carries more weight than any other. Ferrari has the history, the record and an iconic status that epitomises motorsport greatness. So, being so completely blown away by Mercedes over the last few seasons must have been pretty tough to take.

Last season was supposed to be different, with great promises made at the start of the year, but Ferrari failed to win a race. A year later and things seem to be different. Three races into the season and Ferrari has won two of them. So what changed?

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Ferrari, got involved.

He began a full investigation into how things worked at Ferrari’s Maranello factory. He personally interviewed many staff, not just the bosses, wanted to know their thoughts on why Ferrari could not compete with the best British-based teams, and asked for an explanation about why they had a reputation for lack of imagination and innovation in F1 design.

Marchionne decided the design department needed to be restructured, to free up some of the more creative minds and make a less top-down structure.

He identified, he has said, about 20 key “high-potential individuals” to promote and harness. Management was reorganised; the format of meetings, too.

The idea was to make design more flexible, to ensure all ideas were discussed and make the group more open to suggestions. And to encourage a greater sense of ownership and responsibility among a much wider array of people, to avoid the usual Ferrari problem of people keeping their heads down so they could not be blamed for failure.

From BBC Sport

Looking in from the outside, I see Ferrari as a car company that has great traditions that mark them out from many other manufacturers. The problem is when those traditions stopped them from succeeding in the things they want to achieve. Formula 1 being one of them.

It can’t have been easy to have meetings reformated, or the design team restructured. I’m sure there were individuals, who had been giving their all for the success of Ferrari, that were moved to the side, or out of the door. It’s probable that some of those given a voice hadn’t been around in the company for very long and probably didn’t do everything in the ‘Ferrari way’. But, they were what was needed to make the Ferrari Formula 1 team a success again.

I think this is a pretty good illustration of where structures needed to change, and new voices needed to be heard, in order to achieve a different result. I wonder where else this illustration could apply?