The Perfect Pepsi’s: Building an Environment of Unique Experiences

Came across this from Malcolm Gladwell at TED.  Go ahead and give it a looksie.  It’s okay, I’ll wait.  See you after the jump…

There is a lot of emphasis now within many churches on creating environments that make an impression and building an experience for worshipers.   The buzzwords of the day are excellence, interactive, and engaging.  

But what if there isn’t such a thing as the “perfect experience”?  What if our goal shouldn’t be uniform interactions?  What if we created environments and experiences that are flexible and adaptable to the unique people who are there?  Some like their sauce spicy.  Some like their sauce sweet.  Some like it chunky.  What if they could find all three with you?   What if?  How would that look in your world? 

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The Law of Unintended Consequences (pt. 2 of 2)

 In a previous post, we discussed how actions taken within our organizations can impact us in unexpected or unintended ways.  The primary thought was focused on recovering from negative blowback.  In today’s post, I would like to think about the other side.  Those beautiful moments of happy accidents that you never expect that produce results in ways and areas that you never explored.  Call it fate.  Call it serendipity.  Call it the “hand of God”.  Whatever you attribute it to, these moments can prove pivotal in the success of your business, organization, or ministry.
 
Very often it is these moments that provide fuel for innovation.  They open up doors of ideas that were previously closed.  They can hint to another path of accomplishment.  

Serendipity also has the amazing ability to appear in the shadows of perceived failure.   The trick is for us to look past the unfulfilled primary goal and see the wonder of possibility through the disappointment.  

A Day in the Life

Tweet, tweet…

  • 06:18 Catching up on some long delayed writing… #
  • 07:14 Reading Luke 14 w/ the kids… Jesus is serious about bringing people to the party! #

The Law of Unintended Consequences (pt. 1 of 2)

grand-canyon-flood-2.jpgLast week, the US government literally opened the flood gates of the Glen Canyon dam.  The hopes are the manmade flood will carry rich sedimentary residue to nourish the Grand Canyon area, improving the fish habitat in the river and rebuilding beaches.  This was necessitated due to the fact that 98% of the sediment carried by the Colorado River has been lost since the dam opened in 1963. 

Too often, we can find ourselves in the same situation.  Things within our organizations, ministries or businesses that were created for beneficial purposes come back on us with unintended consequences.  And the real danger is that we can spend precious time and resources simply chasing our tails trying to mitigate the effects of our previous actions only to cause further consequences with which we again have to cope. 

Here are a few ways to handle unintended consequences:

  1. Be quick to identify impact – Sensitivity to the current state of your organization is critical if you are to minimize any negative effects.  Some, such as finance or attendance, may be easier to identify and read.  Others may not.  This could include morale of staff, productivity, volunteer activity, or even a change of vibe.  We must keep the pulse.  The sooner we identify, the sooner we can rectify.  (Didn’t mean to go all “Johnny Cochrane” on you…)
  2. Acknowledge the issue – This may sound obvious, but too often, everyone will know there is a problem, but no one is willing to address it openly.  It becomes the 500 lb. gorilla in the room.  As the leader, it is up to you to confront the issue within your team and set a tone to bring about change.
  3. Develop a plan and put it into action – As a child of the 80’s, I learned an important lesson from GI Joe.  They said, “Now you know…  And knowing is half the battle.”  Once you have acknowledged the issue, develop a plan based on the feedback you have received.  But a plan is only as good as it’s execution. 
  4. Address the issues in the light of your values and traditions – I’ve heard it said that the seven most dangerous words any organization can say is “We’ve never done it that way before.”  It is important to understand the impact of your actions against the backdrop of your values and traditions.  On one hand, they can provide the necessary boundaries for your actions.  On the other, they can also serve as unnecessary restrictions to growth, expansion, or resolution.  I am not suggesting abandoning what it is that gives you identity, but rather a willingness to think about new and fresh ways to express them.  A good example would be to re-prioritize a department or ministry to create a more focused and effectual effort.  An unwillingness to change simply because it’s what you’ve always done is a highway to irrelevance.

A Day in the Life

Tweet, tweet…

  • 08:36 Woke up late… Daylight savings is kickin’ my rear… #
  • 12:36 Afternoon soundtrack is Chris Tomlin – See The Morning #

A Day in the Life

Tweet, tweet…

  • 07:34 Reading Luke 13 w/ the kids… Anytime people wanted to speak about others Jesus always turned it back on them! Dang! #
  • 14:26 Corporate prayer, french bread pizza at the desk, and catching up on email…. all in an afternoon… #

Oral Roberts dancing?

Golden EaglesOral Roberts University has won the Summit Conference Championship and is on its way to the Big Dance!

It’s March!  Can you feel the madness growing?