Ideas have the power to change an organization, change a life and change the world.
Think about a song that’s moved your heart closer to God.
Think about a resource that helped you achieve greater results.
Think about a book that shaped your values and character.
Think about a church that’s transformed your life.
All of us have encountered things that have significantly changed the course of our life. But think about it…those things that changed us, added value to, challenged, or shaped us… didn’t always exist. There was a point in time when someone, somewhere had a thought…an idea. In that moment God touched their mind with inspiration and they said to themselves, “What if?” And then a God inspired idea was born.
Often in those moments a battle takes place in our mind. Right on the heels of inspiration comes the temptation to doubt the ideas legitimacy. Our minds race with thoughts like, “This is crazy”, “I can’t do this”, “what will other people think” or “this is impossible.” But don’t forget sometimes great ideas require great risk and great sacrifice.
Somewhere in your heart there’s a passion, a gifting, a calling to do something great. Don’t ignore it because the world needs more great songs, great books, great resources and great churches.
This week I’ve been in Dallas participating in the Ideation Experience. Leadership Network invited people from around the world to share “World changing Ideas” that would advance the gospel over the next 10 years. It’s been fascinating being here listening to all the innovative ideas presented by highly committed Christ followers. Through the 3 day process 10 ideas were selected as the top ideas and will be presented at this years Catalyst Conference. I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Willard who is facilitating this experience. In this video interview Chris shares the vision of the Ideation Experience.
This week I’m at Leadership Network in Dallas participating in the Ideation Experience. LN invited people from around the world to submit ideas that could help accelarate the impact of the gospel in our lifetime. Then they invited about 40 of the applicants to come to Dallas to share and further develop these ideas.
The gathering kicked off yesterday afternoon and has been very thought provoking. As a part of the process they brought in John Handy former Senior VP of Product Design for Mattel Inc, the worlds largest toy company. John is sharing his wisdom from 23 years of innovation and product design. Yesterday he told us we should be able to explain any idea in 60 seconds. He calls it an elevator speech. Then he had each of us stand up and present our ideas in a literal 60 seconds. Here are my two…
EVEVATOR PITCH #1 Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch Leadership Development
We’ve all heard it said there’s a leadership problem in the church…I disagree…I think there’s a leadership development problem in the church. If we took Eph 4:11-12 seriously, which basically tells us God has given leaders for the purpose of raising up other leaders, then we will find a way to resource and empower ALL leaders both staff and lay leaders to identify, recruit and equip future potential leaders. If developing leaders is the critical need of the hour we have to work smarter not harder.
Imagine for a moment…
if you had a system that gave all your currently leaders the confidence and the process to help them identify, recruit and develop 1-2 new leaders each
if this system included high quality training modules taught by the best leaders in the world.
if this content was delivered to your church free thru an online education management software that included a dashboard showing all the potential leaders in your leadership pipeline.
if participation in this training required that potential leaders be personally mentored by an existing leader
if each module was structured to not just dump information but used an interactive process proven to ensure transformation.
I believe this high tech high touch approach to leadership development could literally release millions of leaders in around the world to identify, recruit and develop new leaders for Kingdom growth.
ELEVATOR PITCH #2 Solar Powered MP3 Players for Leadership Development
In 2008 I traveled three hours to reach a village at the top of a mountain in Colon Honduras. There I met a man who was pastoring a church of 10 people, in a community of 300. The gospel was only reaching 3% of the population. As I spoke with that pastor it became obvious his lack of leadership was limiting his ability to influence his community.
Now multiply this story over and over again thousands of times. It is estimated that over 90% of the worlds pastors are untrained. Agencies that do international pastor training typically send teams 1-2 times per year. It’s too little, too slow. But if we could provide each of these pastors a solar powered MP3 player preloaded with leadership training we could provide an unlimited number of hours of training that would transform these men into strong, biblical leaders. The impact this would have on that pastor would change his life, change his leadership and allow him to more effectively reach his community for Christ.
In case you are wondering how I did on my elevator pitch presentation….I choked. Hey it’s hard getting a vision across in just 60 seconds! But I get a second shot at it today.
I read about a company that started in Switzerland called The BrainStore. Frustrated with traditional approaches to innovation that rely on coincidence and serendipity, BrainStore developed the Idea Factory Process. Clients come from all over for all kinds of ideas. The Cancer Assocation went to The BrainStore for ideas on how to promote the use of Sunprotection products. A 70 year old woman went to them for ideas that might help her fall in love again. The BrainStore has created an innovative organization that continually innovates new ideas. I believe innovation and creativity are essential for being relevant and effective so I have developed a Creative Credo.
I believe there is great power in ideas
Ideas change the world. Former Quaker Oats President, Ken Mason said, “I’m not impressed with the power of a corporate president, I am impressed with the power of ideas.”
I believe Innovation is a team sport
Innovation really takes hold in an organization when a team works together on ideas. Oliver Wendell homes said, “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.
I will not be an idea killer
Charlie Brower said, “A new idea is delicate, it can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. It can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow. We need to create an atmosphere where ideas are encouraged.
I won’t just take time to think…I will make time to think.
Thinking is an investment in your future, the future of the organization, the future of the Kingdom. Practice “what if” thinking… What if I had unlimited funds, what if I could talk with an expert, what if we could start over, etc…
I understand that not all good ideas have to be big ideas
Some of the best ideas that make it big are small ideas. I read about a company who put up a suggestion board and announced they would pay $100 reward for any idea that would save the company money. The first winner, an employee who suggested cutting the award to $50.
I will be willing to take a Risk
FW Woolworth convinced his boss to have a 10 cent sell to reduce inventory. The idea worked so well he encouraged his boss to open a five and dime store, but he declined saying it was too risky. Later his boss said, “As far as I can figure every word I used turning FF Woolworth down cost me about a million dollars.”
I will acitvely seek out new people, places and experiences
George Ballas came up with the idea for the weedeater when he went through a car wash and noticed the strings slapping and surrounding his car. When we open our eyes and open our minds we find seeds of ideas everywhere.