Four Questions That Will Inspire Breakthrough Thinking

How dry is the cement around what’s possible in your discipleship effort?  Pretty firm?  Room to wiggle?  As we continue to think about how to help more people experience genuine life-change, I find myself drawn again to ideas in Gary Hamel’s The Future of Management.  Here are four questions he uses to maximize the chances for “precedent-breaking” innovation:

  • “What’s the ‘tomorrow problem’ that you need to start working on right now?”
  • “What’s the frustrating ‘ether/or’ you’d like to turn into an ‘and’?
  • “What’s the espoused idea you’d like to turn into an embedded capability?”
  • What the ‘can’t do’ that needs to become a ‘can do’?

Just stop for a moment and think about those four questions.  Imagine pulling together a team of folks that are really invested and engaged in the life-change process at your church and spending time on any of these questions.  Think you’d have a great discussion?  Absolutely.  Think getting some answers up on a flip chart might be a great first step?  Definitely.  Not the last step…but certainly the first step.

Hamel makes the point that “what’s lacking is not insightful analysis, but truly bold and imaginative alternatives to the management status quo (p. 40, The Future of Management).”  What’s he saying?  Simply that getting answers to these four questions is only the beginning.  Think though, about what you could do once you had the answer to any one of these questions?  Think about how you could pull your team into a great discussion about how to develop authentic capabilities!  It would give you a whole new way of looking at your ministry.

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