Start with Perfect and Work Backward

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Are you dreaming about the perfect way to do small group ministry?  Or settling for a version of what you can already do?

The preferred future is one of my favorite things to talk about in my consulting work.  I illustrate it with this diagram (that I got from Glen Hiemstra).  See it?  Sure…you see it on the diagram.  But do you see the preferred future when you’re thinking about your small group ministry?

I think that is probably the key question for most small group point people.  Can you see the way your small group ministry could be?  Can you imagine the preferred future?

I was inspired by an article in Fast Company on Airbnb, one of their 50 most innovative companies.  An imaginative idea, Airbnb’s business idea is to build a “digital accommodations marketplace that people use to rent out their homes or spare rooms (or igloos, castles, or private islands) like a hotel.”  Wild?  Before you disregard the idea as crazy…keep in mind that in 2011 the company had “more than 4.5 million bookings on 100,000 active listings in 192 countries–facilitating a reported $500 million in transactions.”

Stop.  Read that again.  Still sound like a crazy idea?

I love CEO Brian Chesky’s comment when asked about the motivation behind a simple, but innovative, tactic that resulted in a dramatic boost to bookings (renting a $5000 camera and snapping high-resolution photos of as many New York host apartments as they could.  Bookings soared.  By month’s end, revenue had doubled in the city.”)

“Do things that don’t scale.  We start with the perfect experience and then work backward.”

Can I challenge you today?  If you’re not thinking about perfect experience and then working backward…you’re unlikely to see the preferred future.

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