Scott Hodge


The Orchard’s Critiquing Culture

May 12, 2008

One of the things about The Orchard’s culture that I’m REALLY proud of is our constant desire to DO BETTER!  And one of the ways we accomplish this is by intentionally diving in and doing POST-reviews of all of our events and weekend gatherings.

For example, not only do we spend a lot of time creatively planning our weekend gatherings on the FRONT end….But we also critique, review, and improve IN BETWEEN services and again AFTER the weekend is over.  Here’s what it looks like….

Saturday Nights:

  • During the Saturday night service, Mike Jones (creative arts) meets with his teams and discusses music, transitions, video pieces, and whatever else needs to be discussed.  Notes are taken and any adjustments or changes are assigned to the teams.
  • Immediately following the service, I meet with Mike and a handful of others where we review the entire service from FRONT to BACK – everything from quality and flow of music to specifics of my teaching.  We really take our time walking through our production schedule and EVERYTHING is put on the table for discussion on how to improve and make better for the next day.

Sunday Mornings:

  • After our 9am service, we do another service walk-through, except with a larger group.  And since there’s not a lot of time before our 10:45 service begins, we run through everything fairly quickly, but also make sure we cover all of the bases.  And let me tell you….  It’s amazing how much we’ve been able to improve our 2nd and 3rd services because of this!

Monday Mornings:

  • Every Monday morning, a Zoomerang survey is sent out to all staff and a rotating list of people in our church.  The survey covers everything from how welcoming and warm our environments were to the appearance of our campus.
  • The survey asks the participant to rate each area based on the following scale: It Rocked, Exceeds expectations, Meets expectations, Below expectations and Poor (Address this immediately!).  There are also places to make notes on each area and give feedback on why something was rated as it was. 
  • The deadline for filling out the survey is Tuesday mornings at 11:00am.  We then go through the reviews at our weekly staff meeting that occurs on Tuesdays at 12:00pm. 

Overall, there are a couple of reasons why I think this works so well for us. 

For one, everyone has an understanding that when it’s time to sit down and critique that it’s not about DEFENDING our areas or making excuses.  Instead, it’s about the overall experience and figuring out what needs to be corrected, made better, or sometimes just left alone. 

Secondly, there is a mutual respect and trust among the team that allows us to sometimes say some hard things to each other, yet still walk away loving and in support of whatever decision is made. 

And of course, I realize that it all starts with ME – modeling the ability to open my ears and receive feedback, criticism, and input on how to make it better.  Is it always easy?  No, of course not.  But having a team around me that I trust, respect, and who believes in the mission like they do sure makes it a lot easier!

7 Responses to “The Orchard’s Critiquing Culture”

  1. Mike says:

    love it. thanks Scott.
    practical and helpful.

  2. trey taylor says:

    this is so helpful. we are always trying to improve and you’ve just given me some amazing ideas on how to do that better. thanks.

  3. Chuck Land says:

    Could you link us or post the survey you send to your staff? This is great!

  4. Scott Harris says:

    I’d love to know what questions are asked on the zoomerang survey.

  5. Great post, man, just great. Looks like several want the questions on the survey, maybe you could post them?
    I know that Constant Contact will also do this type of survey as well.

  6. good stuff HODGE PODGE!

Leave a Reply

  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Vimeo
  • Flickr



Top Posts