One of the largest attended and most watched televised events is happening this weekend — the NFL Super Bowl! It’s game time and everyone is excited. It’s about a competition to find out who is the best of the best each year. Personally, I wish we were watching the Houston Texans against the Packers or Steeler’s but there’s always next year!!!
So here’s my question ‘What can the church learn from the superbowl?’ Besides the emphasis of excellence, atmosphere, energy and so on… the NFL has built up an incredible following and fan base around this one huge weekend — it’s goal and purpose to determine the best team of the season and put on an incredible show for all the fans.
So let me state the obvious – we ‘the Church’ are not here to compete with one another and certainly not here to put on a great show. We are the body of Christ and are called to work together to accomplish one goal to share the good news of Jesus Christ, reach people for him and equip them to reach others who do not yet know what He did for all of us. This was God’s original vision for us ‘The Church’.
Pro football players understand they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Let’s employ every method and means to give people a glimpse of the vision of the Church that Jesus talked about when He was with us on this earth — an incredible team of people who love God, love each other and love life.
Shake off the funk and let loose who you were made to be and what you were made to do. It’s no one else’s responsibility, it’s not their decision, it’s yours. Now don’t go spewing off suppressed grievances either in your next team meeting and certainly don’t walk out on your responsibilities and commitments (not wise). If you find yourself caught in indecision, paralysis or even hopelessness — take one step forward and get some wise counsel. Find other people headed in the right direction — talk with someone who knows something about you and can help you clarify what is going on in your heart.
You know what I am talking about — you might even know what your next step is. Or maybe you don’t and that’s ok — but get busy doing something that will get you closer to where you know you are supposed to be.
If you need someone to slap you upside the head or even give you a digital high-five or hug or something, let me know. I can probably manage it. That’s it. Let me know how it goes.
What happens when innovation is merely buzz and not based on something real? At best — nothing. Worst case you wind up creating a bubble and sooner or later it pops.
A particular energy company stood in front of Wall Street for a presentation on innovation “Less assets are more. The future of business is not heavy balance sheets and deep inventory but borrowing and investing, futures and contracts”. Everyone ate it up. New business was business-light, agile, less risk, more gain and profits are fast. This new innovation in the energy industry left the other guys scratching their heads trying to figure out how it was all possible. Then the truth was revealed. This revolutionary business concept turned out to be nothing more than “fixed trading and marketing” secured on invisible assets and fictitious companies — Innovation only by perception.
Innovation is transparent, it’s real. It’s proven. It’s not just theory. It takes time, investment and wisdom.
Is your organization making an impact? How so? Do you have high performance teams and are they empowered and accountable? Other questions to consider:
- What are your core areas of focus? How are they different from the other guys?
- Name specific areas or people that are making things happen.
- Are new ideas being brought into reality? Are they effective or will they be?
- Can you see a pattern of momentum? If it is healthy how are you fueling it?
- Is what you are doing sustainable?
- What do we need to stop doing to allow greater focus on areas that have momentum?
- Are you pre-investing in areas of potential growth?
- Are you connected and invested with other innovative organizations?
Ok. Back to work.
Ok, so you’re standing side-stage just behind the curtain at the most attended leadership conference in 2011. You are speaking to the most driven, innovative and talented leaders on the planet. What will you tell them? How will you let them into your world, inspire and challenge them?
For me I love to hear people’s heart, their struggle, their journey. I love to hear insights on new ventures and the challenges they have encountered along the way. But the truth is all those things just give credibility and set the stage.
I attended an Innovation Technology round table with the LifeChurch.tv team a year or so ago and also spent some time with Bobby Gruenwald and Terry Storch and left that day with this one question “What are you doing today? Not what did you do last month or last year, but what are you doing today?” That question was stuck on replay for hours and even days. I remember so clearly reading this very same idea in Dell’s mission and vision model — “Keep the celebration short so you can get back to Innovating.” more or less. Not sure how they measure up today but it’s still a very clear idea.
Our team decided to answer this question and started developing a prototype of church online and live streaming for our church. Three months later we were live streaming and answering questions live from stage to anyone all over the U.S. who was attending online as well as in-person (via Twitter using ParaTweet). That next month we were the front page story in the Houston Chronicle “Praise for Technology“. It was wild to say the least. How many conferences and talks will you attend before you actually decide to start making an impact?
- What are you doing today that is making an impact?
- What are your strengths & are you using them?
- Do you have people in your life that challenge you to be your best?
Ok, so if the first question is not tough enough, you may find the second question a bit tougher. What are your strengths? Do you know them or are you guessing? This past year I took Strengths Finder 2.0 and the final report nailed me down as Learner, Strategic & Achiever among others. Very revealing and accurate. If you have not taken it and have not taken your team through it I highly recommend it.
But before you even do that. Take some time and inventory what you and your team have done in the past 3-6 months. Are you innovating or maintaining. Don’t get stagnant. Don’t be afraid to reveal what is truly happening in your role, team and organization.
What revealing questions have impacted you? Post here, I would love to check them out.
Our staff is going through Cracking Your Churches Culture Code by Samuel Chand this month and BJ had us commit to a NO PETS policy on our staff.
There are no more problems in our organization. Only challenges or opportunities. Problems are negativity and the solution is usually to get rid of them. Instead take some time to learn from whatever is going on and improve. Offer solutions and ideas instead of marinating on the issue. I talked with our Innovation Team about this constantly, that we are problem-solvers, we provide solutions — and we were not going to settle on complaints and issues unless someone wanted to figure out how to address it, creatively and constructively.
Excuses happen when things are not going so well. It’s a defense mechanism. How many organizations do you know that give an excuse for how and why they do what they do? Take Responsibility. Address the hard truth about performance and effectiveness. If one approach is not working then try a different approach. I read once how Michael Dell empowers his employees to take risks and if the venture fails or not working out as expected the leader had to know when to pull the plug. That’s it. We are all going to mess up, our ideas do not always work — we’re human. Just don’t expect to clean a mess up by pouring more stuff on top of it or even worse make excuses for why it is not effective.
I hear this at least once a week. They said… Usually they is one person who decides that they are representing a whole group of people. How many times are we guilty of building a case and adding a few extra people? Stop giving power to they. If you have something to say, say it directly to the person who can do something about it. Matthew 18:15 says something about that.
We recently listened to The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. Every team and organization must operate in a culture of trust. Without it your cost will go up and speed will go down. Trust is simply “Character + Competence”. To have trust you must be able to communicate directly with one another. To kill trust, do just the opposite: don’t communicate directly others, just complain or gossip to everyone else — or keep “secrets”. Secrets are the not-so-silent trust killer. If you are going to solve problems or opportunities together you have to be willing to communicate openly and honestly.
Sorry, PET lovers. There not allowed here anymore.
Our staff recently had the pleasure of meeting with Roger Berry, Chief Information Officer of Disney Parks and Resorts and to say the least “we have been inspired”. What an amazing experience. Just to make good use of time I am copying or “stealing” notes from my good friend Aaron Unnasch who seems to be a bit more disciplined at recording his thoughts electronically.
Comments from Roger below: (Thanks Aaron)
- At Disney, technology doesn’t make the “magic” happen, but it does enable it.
- God has given everyone the gift of technology. It is our responsibility to learn how He wants us to use it.
- When things are good, the demand for technology goes up. When things are bad, the demand for technology goes up.
- IT must have a seat alongside Finance, HR, and Marketing at the governance table.
- IT must be a part of the decision making process. If not, it is a formula for disaster.
- His 5 points of focus: 1) Stability & Performance 2) Talent Management 3) Segment Strategy 4) Total Cost of Ownership 5) New Technology & Innovation
- Disney knows everything about their customers. They are a trusted brand and, therefore, people willingly share lots of personal information.
- We are more alike than you think. Disney has Intenders –> Repeaters –> Worldphiles. The church has Seekers –> Members –> Disciples.
- You don’t have the resources that Disney has, but you do have power that Disney doesn’t have.
- I believe technology is given to us by God, but it is also a tool of the devil.
- Does your technology plan align with the mission and vision of your organization?
- Are you continually leveraging new technology?
- Will technology change your brand?
- Iteration is important at Disney. We release then release then release….improving each time.
- When I was at Campbell Soup, consultants told us that bad marketing decisions 15 years ago caused us to miss an entire generation. Don’t be late.
Who have you encountered that fits the bill of a Chief Innovation Officer and are you on the journey to take that next step into leadership? Are you truly earning that title “Innovator”? I am refreshing my vision of where I can make the largest impact and seeking God for guidance in this process. Always fun. Always challenging. Who would have it any other way.
Thanks for the feedback: Comments Welcome
Still compiling notes from some outstanding talks with amazing leaders this week. To quickly summarize the things that stood out the most are vision, energy, strategy and execution. They all have it, they all live it and they all expect it. If we are going to be effective in the marketplace, ministry or anywhere for that matter – we need to lead. Check out the line-up below, blog posts to come this week.
Executive Human Resources – Retired
Topic: “Leading with Strategy & Integrity” – (Talk plus Q&A – Half Day)
Bobby Gruenwald, Terry Storch, Craig Groeshel, John Otjen
Pastors, Digerati & Innovation Team
Topic: “Innovation, Technology, Church Online & More” – (Round table and Tour 2-Days)
Senior Pastor and Best Selling Author One Month to Live
Topic: “Capturing the wonder of an untamed God.” (Staff Refresh 1-Day)
Stay tuned. Can’t wait. Peace.
Myra and I got our tickets to this Friday’s Hillsong United Conference. Pumped about checking out these guys. Watched their television program for the first time a few weeks back. Talk about serious quality. Video, worship, message, style, all of the above; excellent. Justin Keller gave me the heads up a month or so back. Even better, planning on heading out to Australia next year to catch them in their home town. How nice would that be? Ok, maybe I’m just praying to go at this point.
It’s still early, grab your tickets and join us Friday night and all day Saturday. Now we got to get Dave, Stan, Chris and Duncan to head down with us. Ready to check out Carl Lentz from the Wave Church, Virginia Beach, VA, Joel Houston the Creative Director at Hillsong Church, Phil Dooley, Chrishan Jeyaratnam Youth Pastor at Hillsong. The past few years has been an amazing time of learning, new experiences and impact. I thank God that He kicks us in the butt sometimes and let’s us know that we are missing it. We always need to continue learn, we always must be equally comitted to making an impact in our community and where ever God leads.
Link here: http://www.hillsongunitedconference.com/
“Different” is no longer a differentiator. What is? Creating an authentic relationship with your customers.
This is what it means to forge an authentic relationship with your customers. It’s not the kind of relationship that lasts for only one season or that comes on suddenly because your product is cheaper or more beautiful than another’s. It’s the kind of relationship that emerges because you offer something that caters to an essential desire and makes your customers feel they can be themselves. It’s the kind of relationship that allows for mistakes and creates a bond of loyalty. And having established an authentic bond doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. People change, trends change, and you must always be willing to reinvent yourself as both your company and your customers evolve.
It is amazing to see people step-up into their area of influence. It is just interesting how many leaders it takes all pushing in their own areas to take things up a notch and then somehow God provides the intersection where something amazing can take place.
I just experienced it again today.