Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

A Need beyond freebees~

Written by: on January 12, 2023

Gustavo Razzetti, the author of Remote Not Distant, is an author and a leading workplace thinker on changing and improving workplace cultures. He begins this book on how to rebuild a hybrid company culture by stating that workplaces are headed into a whole new era of cultures after covid era. He begins his book by saying, “Welcome to the beginning of the end of the workplace as we know it. Normal is gone. The culture that got you here won’t get you there.”[1] The book begins with clarifying a definition of the foundation of a company which the author defines as the Culture of the company. Then Gustavo writes about a five-step roadmap to explain further about increasing connectedness and collaboration in a new hybrid era. Step 1 – Reset your culture, Step 2 – Reimagine the shared future by aligning the team’s purpose together, Step 3 – Reigniting belonging to build a culture of inclusion, connection, and feedback, Step 4 – Rethink Collaboration by introducing six modes of collaboration in a new hybrid workplace, and Step 5 – Release Agility to increase speed, adaptability, and decision-making.


Why is transforming and rebuilding the foundation of a company’s hybrid culture so important nowadays? Gustavo explains that there are five important and positive effects that a strong foundation of culture brings to the company. Culture supports results by increasing performance, culture creates a team to work together by having a shared identity, culture gives employees meaning, giving everyone the why’s behind every what, healthy culture adapts future innovations and thriving character facing changes, and culture boosts employee motivations make the workplace pleasant. One of the perks I enjoyed ministering to young adults here in silicon valley pre-covid was getting invited to visit their companies they work for lunch. The very first experience of visiting companies like google, Facebook, apple, Netflix, LinkedIn, and Samsung is a fantastic experience because you get to enjoy so many free perks that these companies offer to their employees as a tourist. For example, inside facebook HQ, everything is free – ice cream shops, vintage coffee shops, post office, woodworking shops, haircuts, screen golf, free vending machines with all kinds of snacks and gadgets, and etc. But as I have deeper conversations with these young adults about how they feel about their careers, they talked about the same concerns for finding meaning and purpose in their workplaces that goes beyond the needs of freebees. The company perks and external working atmospheres are very important, but ultimately retaining their employees for a long-term period requires a healthy and thriving company culture that is built on humanness.


I thought that the book’s practical advice and roadmap revolved around two keywords. In order to build a thriving workplace, it needs to be rebuilt on purpose and belonging. Gustavo points out that “people don’t just want a job; they want to create a positive impact that goes beyond the organizations they work for…successful teams don’t just work together; their members care for each other. Collaboration and alignment are by-products of culture…Unfortunately, most organizations fail to align their team members. They focus on the what (the goals, tasks, or activities) rather than on the why (the purpose).”[2] He also points out that “belonging is a fundamental part of being human…connections make us feel safe, trusting, and collaborative…a strong organization is built on a foundation of human connection. People don’t just want to be part of a team – they want to belong.”[3] And helping young adults to find a way to rebuild their lives in their workplaces to have purpose and belonging is one of the tasks we are given as a spiritual mapmakers of our generation.

[1] Gustavo Razzetti, Remote Not Distant: Design a Company Culture That Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace (Liberationist Press, 2022). 1.

[2] Ibid, 64.

[3] Ibid, 103.

About the Author


Jonathan Lee

President of Streamside Ministry Lead Pastor of EM @ San Jose Korean Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, CA

13 responses to “A Need beyond freebees~”

  1. Jonathan! At first I read your title as: “A Need Beyond Frisbees” I suppose that title would have worked too!

    I love the quote you pull, “Collaboration and alignment are by-products of culture…Unfortunately, most organizations fail to align their team members. They focus on the what (the goals, tasks, or activities) rather than on the why (the purpose).”

    I find myself on two team at George Fox (Graduate Admissions & Portland Seminary). Both do a good job focusing on purpose, but I often struggle to connect with the purposes of higher education in general. I’ve found my own purpose of advocating and initiating people into educational communities to be the motivating factor for me.

    As a Korean-American pastor, and a Presbyterian, what are your thoughts on advocating for individual purpose when collective purpose fails or doesn’t resonate?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      great question,

      over the years, I experienced many different levels of leadership and followership positions. Generally, the management wants to pull rest of the flock into a certain goals and direction together. I find individual personalities and goals growing over the years impacted from the surrounding shift in our cultures. I think reemphasizing the why’s behind where we are going together is helpful along with platforms where everyone can come together for a bbq and perhaps ultimate frisbee together to help them bond together as one group belonging to one organization together.

  2. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Jonathan, I enjoyed reading this post. I am a little jealous about your access to those large companies in the Bay Area and seeing the environment there. But, as you note, the surface-level things are not what speak to the human soul. You identify the keys as “purpose and belonging” and I agree with you on that. In your experience, of those two important dynamics, is there one you see as more important to younger generations than the other? My experience teaches me that belonging has become the greater desire in recent times.

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      hey Roy,

      anytime you are here, I can take you into Facebook HQ. I miss going back there too. It’s been my experience that younger generation is searching for belonging. The church needs to create and provide and invite and almost push them a bit to belong to a safe place.

  3. mm Andy Hale says:

    Jonathan, I learned more about changing an organization’s culture through your processing of Razzetti.

    Have you ever been part of a cultural reset in the different organizations you have worked for? What was that experience like?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      hey Andy,

      I’ve been through couple different reorganizations and cultural resets in the past. I’ve learned the bigger the organization, it is impossible to please everyone in reorganizing and resetting future directions. Cultural resets were always difficult because every organizations also has a organizational traditions that were infused with cultural traditions within the organizations.

  4. mm Troy Rappold says:

    Jonathan: “Belonging” was a big theme in this book and I also thought a lot about it. With more and more people working remotely, a leader needs to create a sense of team, buy-in from employees, a sense of contribution, and belonging. It isn’t going to be easy to do through emails and zoom sessions, but it can happen. Nice post.

  5. mm Eric Basye says:

    Nice blog. I think you hit the nail on the head with this statement: what is required going forward is a “healthy and thriving company culture that is built on humanness.” This is the consistent agent that must remain. Beyond that, I imagine there can be way more flexibility than we give account for in “how” we do things. But as you state, they “why” is critical important, not only for the purpose and mission, but the sense of team and belonging.

  6. Kayli Hillebrand says:

    Thanks for your post, Jonathan. When you state, “ultimately retaining their employees for a long-term period requires a healthy and thriving company culture that is built on humanness,” do you think the same holds true for churches? Any thoughts on how to shift culture within the church (or youth group) that encourages an environment of increased authenticity?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      Hi Kayli,

      One shift I find that is needed in our church organizations is the need to help youth pastors stay and minister in their positions for a longer time. The Korean American churches have been struggling to keep youth pastors in their positions more than 2 years. The constant repeat of changes brings negative impact on youths as they grow up being disappointed by leadership and pastors.

  7. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Jonathan thank you for your post. Indeed Razzetti makes his point on the importance of purpose and belonging. Have you been able to get to the bottom so to speak as to why purpose is so important to people nowadays as opposed to previous generations focus on loyalty?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      Hi Nicole,

      I think one reason is because there is too much negative media projection amplified upon the younger generation. They hear it so much that they buy into and believe many of its worldly false narratives. Also, I observe when people grow up with too much abundance and wealth, it will be difficult for them to find a sense of purpose in life.

  8. mm Denise Johnson says:

    Thanks, Jonathan, for your post.
    I’m sure your youth are far better with working in the remote world. However, I have read that generally young people are having a harder time in developing their interpersonal skills because they are too remote. I’m curious about how someone working with youth might implement a more remote model, while intentionally creating a deep relational culture?

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