What Must You Do Differently Next Year…to get closer to your goal?

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Albert Einstein famously said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Ever found yourself getting to ready to try something one more time, hoping that this time it would work?

If you answered “yes,” you are not alone.  I’m betting that’s actually a pretty normal behavior.  It’s also the reason most small group ministries are stuck.

Want to get unstuck?  One thing you can do immediately is to add a question to your arsenal.  Here it is:

“What must we do differently next year to get closer to our strategic intent?”

I want to give you a few ideas that will jump start your thinking, but first, let’s define “strategic intent.”  You’ll really get the feel for how it might work in your setting by thinking about this quote:

“Companies that have risen to global leadership over the past 20 years invariably began with ambitions that were out of all proportion to their resources and capabilities.  But they created an obsession with winning at all levels of the organization and then sustained that obsession over a 10-to 20-year quest for global leadership.  We term that obsession ‘strategic intent‘ (p. 7).”

Think about this statement.  Have you got an ambition that is “out of all proportion” with your resources and capabilities?  Want to be part of doing something that can’t be done in a single season?  Has it become an obsession yet?

Want to hear mine?  My personal strategic intent is to find a way to connect the widening 60% that will never be reached with the attractional model.  Because I believe that the folks at crowd’s edge, who are the least connected internally, have the strongest connections externally (and many of their strongest connections are with the 60%), I am always working on strategies that recruit hosts…from the edges.

The simple phrase that says it all for me?  I am about “connecting the 60%.”

What’s your personal strategic intent?  Do you have one?  Do you have a corporate one?

I got this idea from Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad’s excellent little book by the same title (It’s a Harvard Business Review Classic that you can order right here).

Three Jump-Start Ideas to Help Your Thinking:

First, what will you need to do differently to recruit leaders or hosts? If you’ve ended up with the usual suspects for leaders, how will you recruit more broadly?

Second, what will you need to do differently to provide an orientation for your new leaders? In order to make the orientation easier to attend for new hosts we’re preparing to shoot our the videos that will provide a message to hosts from our pastor as well as short segments on how to fill your group and how to have the best sessions.  I got the idea from Saddleback.  You can see how Saddleback did it right here.

Third, what will you need to do differently to sustain the largest number of new groups? There is a reason for the number of new groups you are sustaining.  Thinking ahead about the next curriculum and the timing of follow-up communication are two very important aspects of sustaining what you begin.

There you have it.  Got what you need to get started?  Let me encourage you to get started TODAY!

Need help with this?  Sometimes the best move you can make is to bring in a strategic outsider with fresh eyes to join the conversation.  I’d love to help you.  Why not Email Me to find out how easy it is to get started?

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  1. Eric Henley on September 1, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Thanks!…needed this today.

  2. Anonymous on September 1, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Glad you’re finding it helpful, Eric!