I’m not a big “model” guy when it comes to organizational strategy. While I definitely recognize and admire fresh, innovative ideas that other people are accomplishing, it’s very seldom that I find myself jumping to adapt someone else’s idea or approach in the contexts where I’m leading or creating. Don’t get me wrong, models certainly can be helpful, but if we’re not careful, they can also paralyze us.
Case in point… A couple years ago I learned of a particular structure/model that was working very effectively for another organization that I really admire. And it just so happened that it was proving very successful in an area that we were really struggling to make progress in. So, I decided that we were going to adapt that approach and make it work for us. The only problem was that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get it to work in our context. In fact, the more I tried to make it work, the more frustrated and stuck we became!
Eventually, what I realized was that I was trying to force ourselves into a model that was birthed out of an entirely different story, culture, and DNA than ours. Their approach was grown organically out of who they were, what they valued, and where they came from. The most freeing moment came for me when I gave myself permission to walk away from the model and instead shifted my focus on our own context – who we have and where we’re realistically and currently at organizationally.
And guess what? We saw almost instant progress!
I think often times, models carry an assumption with them that says: “You have what it takes to make it work!” But the fact is, you may not. And that’s ok! Chances are, it took some time for the other guys to evolve, morph, and grow into whatever “model” is currently effective for them.
Allow successful models to inspire, provoke, and start conversations. But don’t allow them to dictate or lock you in to a certain strategy or plan that you may not be ready for….or that may not even be right for you at all!
And if you are going to use someone else’s model….. ADAPT, ADAPT, ADAPT to your own unique context and DNA.
What would you add to this conversation?
Posted in Leadership |
An interview with Apple’s design guru, Sir Jonathan Ive.
Seth Godin’s list of books he says are worth reading.
This is interesting… Choosing the right cover for the New York Times Magazine.
I have no idea who this dude is, but dang….this is really cool. Jim LePage has done some cool work creating designs for each book of the Bible. Great work!
I love food trucks. I’ve gone out of my way to stop and enjoy the food truck scene in Austin, LA, Venice, Portland, NYC, and elsewhere. Here’s an article from Good.is: Why We Need Food Trucks In a Recession. I say bring on the food trucks! How about it Aurora??
Posted in ADD |
This past weekend I shared an excerpt from one of my dad’s journals and so many of you have asked if I could post it. So here it is. It was written in November of 2003 and as you’ll see, this was his attempt at putting into words a very deep experience of God’s love he was having over the last 18-24 months of his life. I’m honored to share it with you and I hope that it creates a deeper hunger in you for a greater experience of God’s love and grace in your own life.
I do not know how to describe what has happened to me. I only know that deep within me, I mean really deep, it seems that something, connected to an understanding of God’s love, has changed me. I sense that this change is a forever thing. It seems that God never goes back on what He does. I have been captured by His love. It is something that I must admit, I never knew existed like I am now experiencing. It is like I have stepped into a new dimension where the height and depth are beyond my comprehension.
I am consumed with a passion to tell people about what I have experienced for the sole purpose of helping them to know that they can have it too. This love relationship offered to me and everyone by the Father is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I am overwhelmed that I have been privileged to experience it. I know that everyone else can experience it too…but love is powerless unless it is consented to. I must confess that I am coming to understand this, and am so grateful for the honor of being loved by the Most High God, and yet I understand that since he is love he can do nothing else but love us.
I have a glimpse of what the institutional church has allowed to happen. It has presented a picture of God and Christ that is inconsistent with who they are. As a product of that church, I desire to liberate those who are caught up in it; to save others from it. I have a passion to take people who are turned off by religion or to religion and turn them on to Jesus Christ and turn them in to devoted followers of Christ.
November 2003, 4:31AM
Posted in The Orchard |
There are a couple of really important things that I ask every new person who joins our team to be extremely intentional about. They’re mostly in regards to internal organizational culture. Here are a couple of them.
MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS
Let’s start from the basis that we will not assume anything. Which means that I will clearly communicate everything that’s important for you to know – even if I have a hunch that you already know what I’m about to tell you. I would rather say it and you tell me that you already knew instead of not saying it because I didn’t want you to feel like I was insulting your intelligence by telling you something that I assumed you already knew.
(Congratulations if you understood that last sentence...)
Not assuming means that we will need to OVER COMMUNICATE with each other – especially in the beginning. I’d rather have to ask you to communicate less than get frustrated by the problems that arise when we’re not communicating enough.
(This is why I think one-on-one meetings should be much more frequent with new hires in the beginning. Part of our role as their direct supervisor is making sure that we’re making ourselves available for the very thing we’re asking them for. In this case – clear communication.)
ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS
Take plenty of time to learn about us. Have an inquisitive posture with everyone on the team. Learn our story. Learn why we do what we do.
This is important because your fresh eyes will soon see better ways of doing certain things. This is good! BUT….before you tell us how we can do it better, show respect by taking the time to understand why it’s being done the way it is. That will score you a ton of points with the team.
Stephen Covey said it best: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Don’t assume that your idea hasn’t already been thought of. There may be a very legitimate reason why it’s still being done the way it is. BUT…..on the other hand, there may not be! And that’s a big part of the reason why you’ve been hired to join our team!
But….no matter what – always take time to understand the stories behind things before you try changing them. It’s as simple as asking: “Tell me about _______, what have your thoughts been about that?” That will go a long way.
What are a couple of the biggies you communicate to new people who join your team?
Posted in Leadership |
Jesus may we follow you on the pilgrim way of Lent,
May we journey with you into the wilderness,
Willing to move beyond the ordinary,
So that we can discover your unexpected sacred places.
Jesus may we wash our hands and purify our hearts,
Learning to thirst after righteousness and hunger after justice,
May we humble ourselves before you,
Expecting to see you revealed in a new light.
Jesus may we walk with you no matter how challenging the path,
Learning to be patient with darkness and growth,
Willing to live with not knowing,
Until your mustard seeds take root and sprout into life.
Posted in Prayer |
Fantastic! – Ira Glass (This American Life) on the secret of success in creative work (video)
LOVE! New York Times slideshow of Gerhard Richter’s art on display at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.
Random, but interesting… – Photos of Congolese wrestlers.
I’m a nerd, but I like this. The Best Picture Nominees….as Infographics.
Love this. Jay-Z, Ed Ruscha and Thom Yorke to Design Water Tanks in New York.
Looks pretty good! Trailer for Donald Miller’s new film, Blue Like Jazz.
Michael Hyatt had a great post this week, How To Change Organizational Culture.
Needed: New York Times on How To Wear A Tux.