One of my favorite apps on my mac, iPhone and iPad is Evernote. I use it every day, multiple times a day. If you use the application very long, you will notice they have frequent updates. It seems like every month (sometimes every other week) they are tweaking things on one of their platforms and making it work better. I will endure the time of letting an application run an update if it will make it work better. The consistent update process is the key to continual improvement for the Evernote team.
I want to throw out a question to all of you leading next-generation ministries: Are you creating a ministry culture that accepts the natural process of consistent updates? A team that embraces the update process is a team that has learned to live with tension of change. You as a leader are responsible to help your ministry embrace and appreciate the need for continual updates because left alone your organization will drift toward stagnation and dysfunction. I know that sounds extreme, but it’s true. Without continual effort to improve, any organization loses momentum and focus.
The question is then, how do we create a culture that embraces continual updates?
1. Encourage Honesty and Feedback > We have to help our teams have the freedom to always share ideas. We may not act on the idea, but we desperately need every team member to be encouraged to give feedback so we can all get better. Ideas are the launching point of innovation.
2. Celebrate Flexibility > You have to be flexible with your team in order to have a culture of flexibility. Flexibility has to be accepted and modeled by the ministry leaders if the team is going to be flexible.
3. Connect Updates to Vision > With every update your team needs to know why! Updates need to always be connected with vision so you have another chance to cast vision! Vision and mission always drive improvement.
4. Learn from Failure, But Lead with Courage > Some updates will not work, and that is a prime time to learn and grow. Don’t allow experimentation and updates to keep you from always leading with courage. Take a risk and go for it.