Keys to innovation

Posted: September 13, 2013 by efenster in Ideas
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UnknownI had the privilege of hearing Charles Lee, CEO and Chief Idea-Maker at Ideation, when he spoke to the School for Congregational Development last month.  He walked us through the five keys to innovation.  As you reflect on my notes below, consider how you might apply these ideas in your ministry…

1. Innovation starts with vision.  It clarifies an actual problem and offers a practical solution.

2. Welcome innovation.  We must be open to thinking divergently, which requires time and space.  Ironically 98% of kindergarteners are able to think divergently; however, most of us lose this natural ability as we grow older.

3. Innovation scales with culture.  Culture–our values, how we work together–always trumps strategy.  Connecting our individual areas–“silos”–will foster innovation.

4. Innovation embraces processes and metrics.  Think big but start small, and keep moving (reiterating).  Define success both quantitatively and qualitatively and measure progress.

5. Innovation needs to make space for me and we.   A fun environment is necessary in order to bring our true selves out as we brainstorm.  The first half of a brainstorm session is typically the most productive.  Don’t be too quick to share your ideas.  Write them down.  For the benefit of introverts, include alone time in a brainstorm session.

Once we accomplish innovation our teams will want more!

To learn more about innovation, I encourage you to visit Charles Lee’s website  and to read his book entitled, Good idea.  Now what?  You may also want to Google “deep dive”  to learn about how to hold intensive, focused team innovation sessions around particular issues or problems.

Our Church Development Team will be holding a deep-dive session this coming Monday around how we can accelerate funding of church planting in Indiana.  Please keep us in your prayers!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development


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