Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Servant Leadership Practice--Try Something New

I'm always intrigued by people who can see something different in issues or objects. Out of habit perhaps, I often continue to look at things the same way assuming they need to stay that way.  One of my favorite examples of a person who looked at things differently is Joel Barker and Jeffrey Birch redesigning a bicycle seat. Because it's been called a saddle, it most often looks like a saddle. They designed one that is more like a seat and is more comfortable. They have a patent for it.

Over my career, however, I've learned to ask questions as to "why" or "why not". Here are some examples:
  • Why take a physical count of inventory? The information is only good for that day, or until the next few transactions. It will be off unless all of the inventory transactions are timely and accurate.
  • Why have a budget? It's a guideline based on information known at the time it's established. Business changes and the need for resources are flexible.
  • Why have a staff meeting on Thursday or Friday? What is the purpose--to look back at the week or look ahead and resolve issues?
  • Why not just have one goal for the whole organization? What if everyone focused on achieving the BHAG? Of course, smaller goals and projects will need to be accomplished, but what if you kept your eyes on the horizon?
  • If you accomplish your goals but didn't complete the plans that would lead to meeting the goal, what does that say? If you complete your plans, but didn't achieve the goals, what does that say about your knowledge of how things work?
As Einstein said, insanity is continuing to do the same things over and over but expecting different results. Want different results? Try something new. Especially if the risk is low, and the change is easy to reverse, implement something new today.

For C12 and Truth@Work members, God often gives us a different paradigm about our spiritual life. There's more to life than what we see (Num 22). Sometimes doing the right thing can be the wrong thing (1 Chron 13.9). Even doing the wrong thing is forgiveable (John 21.15ff). Can't put new wine in old wineskins, as you know. Therefore if you want better results (something new), you need new wineskins.

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