Spiritual Capital

Craig Mattson

Podcast by Craig Mattson

Introducing Spiritual Capital - The Questions behind the Questions (S1, Ep13)
Trailer 7 min 41 sec

All Episodes

Chris Butler's running for U.S. Congress, 1st District Illinois, and he sees a clear analogy between community organizing and what this pod is always discussing--the capability to see latent resources in workplaces and their neighborhoods.

Nov 5

26 min 38 sec

I've done some research among leaders running tiny, fragile, plucky, missional organizations and asked them slow, sifting questions about spiritual life in their workplaces and communities. I wrote up what I learned in my recently published book Why Spiritual Capital Matters. But here’s one 6-min takeaway from that research.

Oct 4

7 min 2 sec

We don't often associate questions of organizational racism with questions of organizational spirituality. They seem to come from very different organizational buckets. Maybe we should rethink that arrangement.

Sep 24

7 min 2 sec

DeAmon Harges is a founder of the Indianapolis organization The Learning Tree, and he joins me as a co-researcher into the question of how various sectors can partner better and more responsibly with neighborhood-based associations. The problem of theft looms always on the periphery of such partnerships. It doesn't have to. Note: an earlier version of this file was disrupted by theme music sixteen minutes into the episode. I apologize for the error. This version should correct for that.

Sep 19

19 min 10 sec

Think of the bones of a neighborhood as its economic capital. Think of the lungs of a community as its social capital. We need both, of course. But the first challenge is seeing them at all. Some of us see ribs; some see lungs. How do we learn to see both?

Sep 7

5 min 34 sec

This episode offers a little backstory on the point when my research flipped on its head, thanks to conversation with a social entrepreneur from Indianapolis named DeAmon Harges, a self-described social banker and roving listener.

Jul 27

4 min 26 sec

My research indexes a fair amount of obscenity when it comes to org leaders frustrated by cheap approaches to mindfulness. This episode broaches the topic of spiritual capital in just this seasons of overwhelm that make sense of the F word ready to hand.

Jul 21

5 min 22 sec

Economic capital. Social Capital. Cultural Capital. What do all these kinds of resources have in common? They're hard to see. Hard to see, that is, without spiritual capital. This is a four-minute listen, and frankly a book promo. But it's also a cure for the organizational glaucoma that can settle into the leadership gaze, missing the gifts that are right in front of you.

Jul 13

3 min 53 sec

Hardly anything is more revered as a pathway to spiritual wellness in workplace communities than face-to-face dialogue. Give me five minutes, and I'll suggest a reason to challenge this taken-for-granted wisdom.

Jul 6

5 min 8 sec

Why is it that organizational leadership requires more spiritual attunement than ever before? You didn't sign up to be a pastor for your employees--or did you? Check out this lightly adapted excerpt from my new book Why Spiritual Capital Matters. https://rb.gy/giogeo

Jun 28

2 min 51 sec

What do you need most in your organizational leadership? This quick excerpt from my newly published book suggests that you don't so much need the economic capital that so preoccupies your sleepless hours as you do the spiritual capital that enables you to see latent resources in your workplace community.

Jun 21

3 min 22 sec

It's simply inadequate for white organizations--companies, nonprofits, churches--to "make a place at the table" for their counterparts of color, say faith-based leaders Darryl and Stephanie Answer, if the table is broken. The good news is that, with a reimagined table, sharing a meal can be a great good thing for org leaders and minority-led associations. The result isn't just affiliation; it's liberation.

May 21

31 min 25 sec

How do you do organizational leadership when the world keeps on coming to an end? I stole that phrase about the world and its endings from Carlo Rotella, this week's guest on the pod. But I'm hoping that my theft pulls you into a conversation about how race and class complicate our organizational projects--in companies, churches, and nonprofits--to engage our neighborhoods with political wisdom.

May 17

36 min 56 sec

A ten-minute mulling over James Baldwin's speech "Notes on a Hypothetical Novel" and its bearing on organizational life and leadership. Mostly, I'm thinking about the ways that predominantly white organizations try (as Baldwin would say) to be something they are not.

May 10

9 min 8 sec

You seek positive behavioral change in your workplace and its community. But how do you pursue that--without becoming a surveillant overlord? Amrita Kulkarni and Jason Judy show how design research connects behavior to deeply held values and helps you and your organization be the neighborhood contributors you aspire to be.

May 3

35 min 1 sec

Your workplace community wants to be a part of the pursuit of racial equity in your broader community, right? But before that can happen, says My'Kal Lofton, another conversation has to happen first.

Apr 24

27 min 52 sec

Learning to be un-blind. That's how a friend of mine, DeAmon Harges of Indianapolis, put it to me recently. Learning to be unblind is a huge challenge of org leadership, especially when it comes to predominantly white institutions and organizations trying to acknowledge and activate hidden resources in their communities and neighborhoods. This week, Cote Soerens and Kyhree Smith of Cultivate South Park in Seattle help us see what we might otherwise miss in our own backyard.

Apr 12

39 min 27 sec

You have a great deal to do just to solve problems within your organization, right? Too much to ever pay too much attention to the problems outside, right? But Seana Murphy has suggestions for ways you might rethink your relation to your place by changing your questions. Photo credit: https://www.downtownindy.org/blog/drink-culture-podcast-deamon-harges-and-seana-murphy-the-learning-tree/

Mar 29

29 min 39 sec

Safronia Perry's story exemplifies the importance of place for organizational identity and mission. The park where her organization does its work is located on an African American cemetery effaced by white citizens during the 1970s. Safronia has not only helped seek reparations for this desecration, but has launched a coalition of Black-owned businesses to rebuild neighborhood wealth.

Mar 22

27 min 23 sec

Why, in a podcast dedicated to organizational spirituality, are we discussing the plight of trailer park residents in the grips of predatory investors? I mean that issue seemingly has nothing to do with yoga, green smoothies, incense, or meditation exercises. It’s a good and reasonable question--addressed in this ten-minute episode.

Mar 15

8 min 28 sec

How do we work out a spirituality of place-based development? Sarah Hope Marshall has some ideas--and they have to do with how we use live with each other and our digital tech.

Mar 9

25 min 31 sec

Despite sleepless nights, hair pulled out, and unfinanceable mortgages, Mark Elsdon says, "We Aren't Broke." On what grounds? Actually, on the ground beneath his building. His attention to invisible resources in the American church is worth a listen.

Feb 27

28 min 4 sec

How can your organization help reimagine America for racial equity? Anton Seals, Jr. suggests that, for individuals, churches, and businesses, rethinking these United States starts by rethinking neighborhoods.

Feb 15

31 min 11 sec

Raymond Carver wrote a story once called "Where I'm Calling from" that invited reflection on place and character. This week's episode reflects on organizational leadership and neighborhoods. Scott Emery joins the pod from his work at M.S. Hall & Associates in Syracuse.

Feb 8

31 min 15 sec

Why should you care about the place where you business or nonprofit does its work? I mean, you have plenty to do just get the paychecks out each week, right? Your geography, your post-office address, is more or less incidental, right? Derrick Braziel, an entrepreneur in Cincinnati, has something to say on this point.

Feb 1

31 min 48 sec

How do you as an organizational leader involve your company in its neighborhood without taking over the character and displacing the resources of that community? Sundeep Vira joins the pod to discuss how the Academy Group negotiates these challenges.

Jan 25

27 min 16 sec

This pod exchange introduces you to an emergent network called Neighborhood Economics, a collaborative group of entrepreneurs, community organizers, social scientists, programmers, and liberal arts educators who are together working on the question of “How can people in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago stay in their homes?”

Jan 18

34 min 10 sec

Quick preface to the upcoming episodes across 2021, each of which will be focused on organizational leadership and place. Knowing your neighborhood and the latent resources you see there.

Jan 15

5 min 43 sec

Wendell Berry once said we should "stop thinking about the economic functions of individuals for a while, and try to learn to think of the economic functions of communities and households.” Jon Berbaum joins the pod today to help do that, sharing from life in the household at Highland Solutions.

Dec 2020

25 min 52 sec

Bree Jones, founder of the West Baltimore organization Parity Homes shares a fresh sort of story--not one grounded in the individual overcomer but rooted in the neighborhood, or, really, any community that has started to recognize its own mutuality.

Dec 2020

26 min 14 sec

Our unit of analysis for economic practicality should be, not the individual changemaker, but the neighborhood and its remarkable, resilient, and sometimes subtle economics. Spotting that circulation is spiritual capital. Let's talk with Kevin Jones about that.

Nov 2020

29 min 19 sec

Every org leader's got some notion of an enfolding economy that powers their organization. Dr. Shelley Best, of the Hartford incubator 224 Ecospace, calls this ultimate circulation "God's Economy." Her stories will amaze.

Nov 2020

32 min 43 sec

Osvaldo Montelongo & Tornu Ngwayah chat about fresh approaches to elder care via their social enterprise ConnectCareHero.

Nov 2020

25 min 5 sec

Two metaphors guide our imaginations of organizational impact: the chain and the breakthrough. The first is sequential and reductively quantitative. The second is emergent and hard to evaluate. I propose a third metaphor for impact design, pursuit, and assessment: spiritual capital. (6-min. listen)

Oct 2020

6 min 12 sec

How can your organization seek impact in the teeth of trauma? How can you seek impact in the wake of hard history? Here's a conversation with Argrow's House founder Dr. Kit Ford, who shows how one organization shares access to spiritual capital.

Oct 2020

27 min 26 sec

How do we perfect our organizations without becoming rotten with perfection? I see your question and raise you another. How might decomposition and breakdown bring unexpected betterment? This week, thanks for engaging this five-minute think-piece edition of the pod.

Oct 2020

5 min 26 sec

Growing Home grows vegetables. Lots of them. But they also grow people towards fresh forms of capital, fresh ways of being in the world. Janelle St. John stops by the pod to share some wisdom about everything from mission creep to stewing tomatoes.

Oct 2020

25 min 3 sec

Allen Woods comes to us from the Cincinnati-based accelerator Mortar to talk about the art of rediscovering the soul your business can all too easily obscure.

Oct 2020

30 min 21 sec

Organizational leaders more and more feel responsible for their team members and employees as whole-personed participants in vocational community. But spiritual insecurity abounds. Angie Thurston and her colleagues at the Sacred Design Lab have some counsel.

Sep 2020

30 min 29 sec

A reflection on why the face-to-face dialogue that feels so essential changemaking organizations isn't sufficient for the changes we seek.

Sep 2020

4 min 53 sec

How do you keep your organization from reducing to one thing or another? How do you keep your organization both social minded and economically innovative? Try thinking of it all in terms of gift, suggests Mark Sampson.

Sep 2020

29 min 59 sec

Who should get in on the business of repairing the world? Public theologian Amy Butler understands why you might say, not the church. But as a minister at a historic church in D.C. she'd also like to gently encourage you to rethink your answer.

Sep 2020

26 min 44 sec

What do RFPs and transactionals and sales contracts and non-competes have to do with spirituality? Ironically, I'm finding answers by talking to someone who claims to be neither religious nor spiritual. Give this 29-minute pod a listen for a detail-rich conversation about spiritual capital in the task-list details of organizational life.

Aug 2020

28 min 53 sec

Spiritual Capital heads to the streets for this episode captured onsite in Chicago Lawn with a changemaker named Devonta Boston.

Aug 2020

21 min 1 sec

Organizational leadership feels a lot like parenthood. What happens when your organization grows up and needs to move out? Shannon Hopkins from Rooted Good talks us through the life and death and life again that can happen when organizations mature.

Aug 2020

29 min 34 sec

A think piece about why writing by hand gives me an analogy for what it takes for leaders to recover a sense of what their organization has arrived in the world to say and do.

Aug 2020

6 min 48 sec

Gregory Dees once asked about social enterprise, "Where's the church?" In this episode, Scott Becker makes a similar observation regarding civil rights in the health industry and in broader American society.

Jul 2020

22 min 41 sec

Corey Kohn talks about all the humans in her spirituality of organizational life. She also turns the interview table around and asks a bunch of questions of the host.

Jul 2020

29 min 54 sec

Organizational leaders are cross-pressured to keep economically viable and socially responsible. The intersection of economic and social pressure is hardly new, but right now--in the midst of pandemic and racial upheaval--organizations feel their usual scarcities as an imperative to change and adapt. Urgency, though, can create conditions for naive change. Stephen Lewis advises listening for what Howard Thurman called "the sound of the genuine."

Jul 2020

27 min 29 sec

We seek inclusion & equity by diving deep for implicit biases. Ok, great--if the move inward leads to a move outward. Patrick Reyes points towards citizens our organizations were too often designed to keep out. (30 min. listen)

Jul 2020

29 min 43 sec