Innovation Step One: Acknowledge What’s Not Working

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Ever stopped what you were doing and became completely and totally 100% honest about the effectiveness of what you are doing?  Whether you’ve done that in secret or right smack in the middle of a team meeting…if you want to know the truth…you absolutely must do that.  You must!  Denial…refusing to call a spade a spade…only leads to long term ineffectiveness.

And here’s the thing about long term ineffectiveness…it is right at the heart of the bad outcome in The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25).  You want that outcome?  Me neither!

I have to tell you that as you’re becoming open to the idea of building a culture of innovation (which I hope you are), you must become ruthlessly devoted to brutal honesty about the effectiveness of your current strategy.  In other words, you need to become willing to acknowledge what is not working.

On that note, I love this quote from Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel:

If we got kicked out, and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he or she do?  Why don’t we just walk out, come back in, and do it ourselves?  Andy Grove, Former CEO of Intel

Andy Grove reflects a profound truth about long term effectiveness.  If you already know what the new small groups pastor or director would do…if you already know what should be done…what’s stopping you from doing it?

I won’t speak for you.  I’ll just say that the only times I’ve become aware AND unwilling to change have had their roots in things that aren’t good.  Pride.  Preoccupation with saving face.  Busyness reflected in the pursuit of the right answers to the wrong questions.  And none of those are good things.  None of those are things that will prompt a “well done” from the Master upon His return.

Can I give you a little prompting?  Follow my two step prescription:

  1. Become committed to what Jim Collins calls autopsies without blame.  Love that idea.  Be willing to seriously evaluate the effectiveness of what you’re doing; of your current strategies.
  2. Listen to the Andy Stanley excerpt from his great talk, Recent Random Thoughts on Church and Leadership.  Don’t go through the motions.  Don’t!  Refuse to be the 3rd servant in the Parable of the Talents.

Here’s an excerpt from Andy Stanley’s talk on Assumptions Click here to listen in.

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