Being Open and Transparent: Another Reason I Love My Job

Whenever I begin a new role in life, I seek to set some milestones for myself.  In my current role, I recogonized some immediate needs (exceeding revenue expectations, improving the quality and diversity of the product), but also ancillary tasks I wanted to complete.  One of those was to bring our customers into the walls of LifeWay to see the personalities and passions of the incredible people that I get to work with.  So far, over 20,000 people have viewed the various LifeWay Conversations strewn about LifeWay.com (and collected right here for my blog readers). I'm proud to say that LifeWay has had the foresight to offer a product that's based on this very concept: to not only give an open look at how LifeWay crafts its resources, but to give the customers a chance to contribute as well.  This project is called Open Access. Last week, I got to see the fulfillment of my dream to help bring people into the walls of LifeWay.  Somehow, the team decided that it was okay for me to shoot one of our meetings.  The entire team approved the idea. I know... it's a strange thing for me to be so excited about.  But I love the fact that we can be open enough with our business that we're able to give people a glimpse into what it's like to work here.  Sure, it may be a boring video and you might get dizzy with my movements (the filming was just me and a handheld... we've got to look at a better way to film in the future), but it's raw with real people doing real work and making real decisions. You can view the video here. I think it would be great to see other corporations have the boldness to pull back the curtain a bit and give a glimpse into their corporate culture and processes.  Being able to do things like this makes me honored to be an employee here at LifeWay.
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Open Access: Choosing a Title

In this Open Access video, Dale McKleskey talks about the importance of choosing the right title for a product, and some of the processes that we go through to do so.  Dale not only hits on the Open Access project's study, Going Beyond, but also some of LifeWay's past studies by Beth Moore. [kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&embedId=47244421&uri=channels/30228/156826]
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LifeWay's Open Access Project

For the past few weeks, I've gotten to be a part of the planning for a "secret" LifeWay project called Open Access.  I'm incredibly excited about the potential that this project has for us, as it is going to do a lot to develop an online community for us.  I'm looking forward to the continued movement towards transparency and development of employee personalities here at LifeWay and this is a major step in that direction. The Open Access line of projects will be products that allow customers to access our materials while we are working on them.  Participants who purchase the product will get a rough draft of the study and literally get to see it mere weeks after the author turns it in to us.  This will allow the participants to give us feedback about the ideas and concepts in the study, as well as share any personal stories that might be applicable to the study.  All of the feedback will be read, and turned to constructive criticism for the author and editors to choose how to implement. The participants will also be able to communicate with each other via an online forum, so we can see how the group as a whole react to the study and how they interact with each other.  LifeWay employees will, of course, interact there as well. The first product that we're doing with Open Access is a new Priscilla Shirer study... that doesn't even have a name yet!  I believe there are meetings next week to finalize the name; hopefully we'll be able to announce it soon. The Open Access project will have a blog as well, here. The blog will talk more about the development process than the actual product, and we hope to utilize it to give people a behind-the-scenes look at how a study is crafted here in the offices.  As a part of that, I'll get to interview various employees throughout the next few months about what they're working on for the study. The first of these video conversations is/was with Jennifer McCaman (our project manager) introducing what Open Access is and what we hope to accomplish: [kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&embedId=22245474&uri=channels/30228/143907]
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