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Turning

Edgerton Gear

Story

How do you transform a good-ol’-boys company culture into a healthy corporate community?

At Edgerton Gear, it took decades.  The road to transforming this family-owned business was long and hard.  By hiring for character and fostering kingdom-inspired values, Dave Hataj has built a blue-collar workplace that is incredibly productive and attractive to a new generation of skilled workers. 

Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • How does Edgerton Gear’s story illustrate the pursuit of human flourishing and economic shalom?
  • “Making gears is easy; fixing people is hard” and “hiring for character” are central to the story.  What do these statements assume about human nature?
  • “It takes a long time to rid a company of its demons and dysfunctions.” Why?  What does Dave’s experience say about the depth of brokenness vs. God’s ability to heal?
  • “It was hell… then it got worse.”  Obedience is a major theme in Dave’s journey.  How does faith factor into such a long struggle?

Connecting to your Work

  • What experiences have you had with company cultures that either inspired and engaged you OR alienated and discouraged you?
  • How aware are you of the lives of the blue-collar workers in your company?  What can you do to be more intentional about how your company’s policies and practices impact blue-collar employees?

Personal Application

  • Faith and faithfulness are related. How does your faith enable you to be faithful…  to people? to values? to callings?
  • Not all tasks are full of meaning.  How do you stay motivated and mindful when your work is toilsome?

Read: Gustavo Santos’ article: “How Garbage Collectors Can Refresh Our Theology” from Comment

Lord, Thank you for my organization. Every company has a culture and help me be mindful of the kind of culture my actions are creating. I want my behavior to reflect your values and contribute to habits in our company that promote justice, reconciliation and flourishing. Help me see where your Holy Spirit is at work in my company. I especially pray for the most vulnerable and powerless among us. Amen.