When are you willing to pull the plug on a strategy? How many times does a strategy need to have the exact same results before you conclude that it is the wrong strategy?
When are you willing to rethink an assumption? How many times are you willing to profess confusion when the outcome is not what you anticipated?
How often have you begun thinking about the next ministry season and set in motion an almost exact replica of last year’s approach because you always have a small group fair right after Labor Day (complete with a catalog of semester options) or for that matter, you always do a church-wide campaign in the fall (and your existing groups love including new people for those 6 weeks).
I can’t speak for you, but I can say that it’s normal to do again with only slight variation what you’ve done previously. It’s normal. It happens all the time. And that’s the problem. After all, didn’t Einstein persuade us when he said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results?”
If you want different results you need to change the design. And I should add, if you want significantly different results you’ll need to do more than tweak the design. You’re going to need a different design.
Dreaming of being a church of groups but seem permanently mired in the muck of church with? Chances are your strategy has a design flaw. Can’t figure out how to break through the 50% connected in groups barrier? Odds are your strategy needs a major overhaul. Stuck at 80% adults connected in groups? In all likelihood…your strategy has an innate limitation that prevents breakthrough.
I like Tim Brown’s analysis. Brown, the CEO and President of IDEO and author of Change by Design, has pointed out that teams that are truly committed to developing breakthrough products “will not feel bound to take the next logical step along an ultimately unproductive path (Change by Design, p. 17).”