The Greatest Value You Can Add to Your Team is Theirs

Unless you are a robotic leader without any heart, you want your team to know you care for them. More specifically, you want each person on the team to know he or she is valued. When there is a healthy relationship between team member and supervisor, work is much more enjoyable and rewarding. When trust is high, team members operate with confidence and freedom. When the relationships are not strong, work is stifled and the joy of the job can be lost.

So how can a leader let each person on the team know they are valued? Harry Reis, a researcher and social psychologist, has invested decades studying what makes a relationship strong, and according to the research, the guiding principle of all healthy relationship is responsiveness. This makes sense when we think about the example of bad customer experience we have endured in our lives. When we are ignored, we feel undervalued. The reason we are so deeply frustrated with bad customer service is we feel we are not being responded to.

But when people feel they are being responded to, their connection with the other person increases significantly. When people you serve sense that you are responding specifically to them they know they are valued. Here are four ways leaders should respond to each person on the team.

1. Respond to their victories.

When those you lead meet a goal, solve a significant problem, or make an impact, respond to them and their victory. If they never hear from you in those moments, they likely wonder if you notice or care. When you recognize people on your team for their wins, you show you value their contribution.

2. Respond to their roadblocks.

Part of a leader’s role is to remove roadblocks that get in the way of each person on the team. If someone on your team knows you are making things easier for them to be successful, they know you care.

3. Respond to their struggles.

If you played sports in high school, you may have heard your coach yell, “Don’t worry if I am yelling at you. Worry if I stop yelling at you.” And while we may not have appreciated the yelling, the message was clear—if the coach was still exhorting you, the coach still believed in you. If he stopped, his belief in you had already stopped. If you ignore the problems with people on your team, they will assume you don’t care as much as you once did.

4. Respond to their lives.

The people on your team are real people (not merely folks who crank out work) with lives, hopes, dreams, and pain. When you respond to the lives of those you lead, you show that you value the person, not just what the person does.

Read more from Eric.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, Eric served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.

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7 Characteristics of Great Team Chemistry

Port City Community Church (PC3) in Wilmington, NC is a cool church. The founding and senior pastor is @MikeAshcraft — a great guy with a strong Kingdom vision for the future. They are a multisite church with 4 locations.

Recently I had the privilege to speak to their entire staff of about 75 people. What an awesome day we had as we tackled the topic of leadership development!

They have a fantastic staff, and while I was with them, it struck me that some teams are more likely to become better leaders than others. This was one of those teams.

We had the whole day together that included teaching, Q&A, and a huddle with their ministry directors. There was plenty of opportunity to get to know the team, including some lunch conversations with Trolley Stop Hot Dogs! They even had a veggie dog option for this SoCal boy! That’s hospitality!

Let me share the characteristics I observed and experienced that make me believe they are more likely to become better leaders than some other teams.

I encourage you to evaluate your team with this list:

They were hungry to learn and grow.

Teams who are more likely to become better leaders are willing to pay the price. They carve out the time from busy schedules and invest in their teams like PC3 did over the course of two days. It was obvious they were hungry to learn. They asked insightful questions at every break, and never stopped taking notes! They wanted to be there!

They want to develop and empower others.

Teams who are more likely to become better leaders than others know the value of selecting and including volunteer leaders, in order to develop and empower them for significant leadership roles. This requires intentionality and specific skills as well as strong and secure leaders who are willing to hand over the keys. Just one example, Dudley Raye, a new staff member (Host Team Volunteer Co) has some 600 volunteers and was fired up to develop leaders!

Their collective attitude was positive and full of faith.

You know a team is more likely to grow as leaders if they have a positive attitude and are full of faith. It’s part of the culture, and so true at PC3. You could feel the energy in the air and sense a spirit of anticipation that God was up to something big in and through their church.

How about your church? What vibe is in the air among your team? Gratitude is an overflow of a positive spirit and faith; and it showed at PC3.

They valued and enjoyed each other.

I’ve been with staff teams that didn’t get along very well, and behaved like they were in a library, not so at PC3. They knew how to have fun, laughed easy and enjoyed the process. That is key for any team who wants to grow. Ministry isn’t easy and you work hard so it’s important that you find joy in your calling and love the people you serve with. That creates an environment that enhances personal growth. Toxic environments stunt growth and make becoming a better leader difficult.

They are willing to work hard on their craft.

It’s fun to play, but that’s not how you grow. Teams get better because they are willing to work hard and practice leadership. Practicing leadership means that you work on things that you can’t do, until you can. It’s the opposite of the more common scenario where leaders do the same things, with the same people, in the same ways, over and over again. Keep up the good work PC3!

They understand the need to blend the spiritual and natural realms.

As I listened to Mike Ashcraft share the vision for the church my heart resonated with the obvious spiritual passion and yet grounded connection to earthly realities. Leaders on teams who become better leaders know how to navigate the grand partnership between what God does and what we as leaders do! Pray like it’s up to God and work like it’s up to you!

They have demonstrated competence.

You don’t grow a church to over 5,000 people on 4 campuses if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s always fun to spend a day with a team of competent leaders; yet leaders who all realize they still need to grow.

As you think about your staff team and key volunteer leaders, whether your church attendance is 50, 500 or 5,000; what are you really good at and where do you need to improve?

>Read more from Dan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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Josh — 05/02/17 4:27 am

:)

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Team Alignment: 6 Actions Necessary to Create a Positive Ministry Team Experience

Vision Curator’s Note: This post was originally published on January 29, 2013, on Employee Happiness Tips Tricks & Tools, a site where you can find state-of-the-art real-life ideas for boosting employee happiness. With the author’s permission, I’ve made only slight modifications to reflect the language of church ministry teams, focusing on Guest Experience teams.

There is a clear linkage between the team member experience and the Guest experience in your church.

We know that. And yet, many organizations still refuse to make the team member experience a priority, focusing instead on other more tangible factors without considering the implications of a poor team member experience.

This post is about what it takes to put team members first, to make their experience a clear priority.

I’ve been preaching the importance of team members in the Guest experience equation since my days at J.D. Power and Associates 20 years ago, and yet, in the heat of Guest experience design efforts, team members are forgotten. Organizational executives say:  “Oh, we’ll collect feedback from team members later. We’ll incorporate team member data after we hear how our Guests feel. We’ll do something for team members next year. We’ll think about our culture at another time. Let’s start with our Guests.” This is not, nor has it ever been, acceptable.

Without your team members, you have no Guest experience. The linkage between Guest experience and team member engagement has been proven. It’s real, and your team members matter! If your team members aren’t engaged, it will be very difficult for them to delight your Guests; in very simple terms, this describes the spillover effect, defined as “the tendency of one person’s emotions to affect how other people around him feel.”

With team member engagement at what I would probably estimate to be an all-time low, it’s time to place the focus where it belongs. It’s time for organizations to think about their team members first. I love this story from Tom Peters:

CEO Hal Rosenbluth chronicled the incredible success of his travel-services firm, Rosenbluth International, in The Customer Comes Second. Love that title! Who comes first? Don’t be silly, says King Hal; it’s employees. That is – and this dear Watson, is elementary – if you genuinely want to put customers first, you must put employees more first.

In this video, an interview with Sir Richard Branson, Branson advocates the same: “Put your staff first, customers second, and shareholders third.”

Where do we begin? There are a few different ways to ensure a positive employee experience:

1. Enlist the Right People

As strange as this may sound, it really starts with hiring the right people. What does that mean? In addition to Attitude, I can probably summarize the rest in one word: Alignment. The right people share your organization’s:

  • Values
  • Passion
  • Purpose

It is often said that Guests will check out organizations with which they align, whether that alignment is with the organization’s purpose, the organization’s social responsibility policy, or something else. Team members want to be a part of organizations with which they are aligned, as well. That’s where passion comes in. How can you be passionate about doing something or being a part of something you don’t care about or that doesn’t fit your own values?

Putting the effort into enlisting the right people shows that you care about your brand, the organization as whole, and your Guests… and most importantly, the team members. Note: the “right people” aren’t always the most-experienced or the most-obvious ones, either.

2. Establish an Onboarding Process

You can’t just enlist people, set them free, and think they’ll understand what’s expected of them. By “knowing what’s expected of them,” I don’t just mean knowing what to do in their new roles. Yes, obviously explaining the task, and where to find needed supplies are all important to the onboarding process, but what I’m referring to is that they must know what it means to be a part of your organization, i.e., knowing your brand promise, values and commitment, what it means to live the brand, and where the priorities lie.  In other words, define the culture.

3. Communication and Feedback

The Senior Pastor is the brand champion for most church organizations and drives the communication and the culture. The Senior Leader and/or Leadership Team needs to build alignment to the brand strategy through constant communication:  educate and inspire; teach team members how their actions impact the Guest experience. A culture of transparency – one of open, honest, and candid communication – will yield amazing results.

Communication also includes feedback, whether it’s ongoing feedback about performance to the team member (or from the team member) or in the form of a survey or some other data collection methodology. Feedback, like communication, is a two-way street. And it needs to be acted on.

4. Empower Team Members

In order for team members to live this culture, they must be empowered. While “team member empowerment” might be one of those phrases that is over-used in conversation/theory but under-utilized in reality, I am referring specifically to ownership and accountability. I think team members can relate to what that means, but your onboarding process should certainly clarify that for them.

  • If they receive direct feedback about their performance, they need to own it and correct it.
  • If a Guest has a bad experience directly related to his/her service, be accountable. Learn from it and improve.
  • If a Guest has an issue, step up and come up with creative solutions to fix it.
  • If team members have ideas on how to improve the Guest experience, they should be encouraged to share with the team – own it and do it.

Team member ownership means your people are invested in the organization emotionally. Team member ownership also means that team members are involved in decisions about how to improve the Guest experience – and the organizational culture is such that this is allowed, supported, and applauded. Team member ownership also means that the senior leadership team is no longer in charge; the team members are. They think and act like they own the organization.

5. Show Appreciation

Rewards and recognition for a job well done must be a part of your culture. Praise for delighting Guests should always be given. Knowing that their ideas, suggestions, opinions, and contributions are valued and appreciated goes a long way toward facilitating and nurturing team member engagement. Two small words, “thank you,” on a regular basis shouldn’t be too difficult.

6. Map the Team Member Journey

What tools can we use to set all of this into motion? I would recommend building a team member journey map. Just like the Guest journey map is the backbone of Guest experience management, the team member journey map is the same for the team member experience. How can you improve upon something if you have no clue what “it” is? A team member journey map clearly outlines the team member experience for you from end to end, helps to identify areas for improvement, and brings awareness to the good and the bad parts of the team member experience. The journey map will facilitate a culture transformation.

Putting team members first is a lot of work, isn’t it? There’s a lot to it. An organization that puts team members first is not simply giving out coffee cups and having foosball tournaments. There’s a concerted effort, day in and day out, to do the right thing and to build the right culture.

One final note:  I think this might just be the most important thing. Never forget that we are all human. Show your team members that you truly care about and respect them, that they are more than just a number. Treat them the way you’d want to be treated. Treat them like humans.

Read more from Annette here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette Franz

Annette Franz

Annette Franz is founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer, of course!) of CX Journey Inc. She's got 25 years of experience in both helping companies understand their customers and employees and identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience - so that, together, we can design a better experience for all constituents. Annette is active in the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), as: an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors, a CX Expert, and a CX Mentor. And she is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). She is also an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for successful business and career coaches. Members are selected based on their depth and diversity of experience.

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9 Secrets of Dynamic Weekly Team Emails for Ministry Leaders

Sending out a weekly email to your team is an effective way to make sure that your people are focused on the same thing going into the weekend. A good weekly email is part logistics reminder part talking points and part motivational propaganda. If you don’t currently send out weekly emails to your teams it would be a great practice to start getting into! Here are some critical factors to consider when sending out weekly team emails to people at your church:

  • Predictable Time. // Pick a time during the week and try to stick to sending it then. For me, I think sending these emails out on Thursday mornings fit well into the rhythm of our work flow. Everything is (generally) settled for this coming weekend and it gives people time to digest it before the weekend.
  • Lead With Vision. // Make sure a piece of the email points back to why we are doing this work. Remind people about the reason for the church’s existence. Share a quick “win” from the weekend before. The more you can draw direct lines to what is happening this weekend to the “big picture” the better.
  • Use Pictures. // We live in a post literate world … communicate with pictures.  😉
  • High Information Density. // People are going to be receiving this email every week and so you need to make it worth their while to open it up.  Avoid lots of fluff but rather attempt to pack it full with as much helpful information as possible. Write it and then edit it to find ways to say the same thing but with less words.
  • No Surprises! // Make sure to focus on things that might be different or out of the ordinary for the team so they aren’t caught off guard. Look for “variance” in your weekend experiences and take extra time explaining those details to your team.
  • Skimable & Deep Dive. // Format the email in such a way that people can quickly skim over the topics and then pause to dive deep into those areas that impact them the most. Provide links and attachments for people who want to go even deeper with more information. The team should be able to quickly gather the “big ideas” for the weekend but those people who want more details can access those as well.
  • Track the Usage. // Find a way to track if people are opening your email and clicking on the links provided.  For me I use Boomerang for Gmail to do this … it let’s me “secretly” track how many opens each email gets and what people are clicking on. (Email systems like Constant Contact, Emma or Aweber do this as well.) Keep an eye on the usage patterns of your emails and adjust what you are doing so more people open and use it.
  • Leave Some Gifts. // Occasionally leave some development resources for your team as a “P.S.” to your email. Even if your team doesn’t download them and use them it’s a simple way to show appreciation to your team. The keeners on your team will download those resources and will love checking your emails to see what new goodies you have every week!
  • Mix it Up. // There is a balance making your emails predictable so your people know “how to use” them and also making sure they don’t get stuck in a rut. If every email was so different it would make it harder for your people to find the information they are looking for but it’s also fun to add some different elements every once and a while. Put in a cartoon from something that made you smile about church leadership. Shoot a “selfie video” talking about what’s coming up on that big weekend. Include a free MP3 with a song that inspired you about what your church is talking about.

Here some examples of weekly emails that I’ve sent to my team: [This one was from a month ago.] [Here is the one I sent the week after Easter … always a tough weekend to keep people motivated!]

Read more from Rich here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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3 Ways to Gauge Great Ministry Team Collaboration

Collaborative teams represented a crucial driver of Thomas Edison’s legendary innovation success.  Although we often envision Edison as a ‘lone wolf’ who generated innovation breakthroughs by closeting himself in an attic or remote laboratory cubicle, in fact his innovations embraced the work of small, diverse teams collaborating in vibrant environments. 

Never has it been more important to examine the team collaboration practices we engage in today. With smart devices numbering in the billions across the globe, face-to-face approaches familiar to Baby Boomers and other seasoned leaders are shifting to online collaboration by including virtual team formats popular with Generation Y.

A recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting, a highly regarded technology research group, revealed that 40% of US companies today are operating with some form of virtual teams. This includes hybrid teams, where several members connect ‘live’ from the same geography while others participate remotely. Forrester projects that today’s levels will rise to 56% in the next few years.

The notion of team collaboration, and deriving the best possible performance from teams working both face-to-face and remotely, is taking on increased prominence.  With this new rise comes the need for leaders to determine, “How can I tell if my people are actually collaborating?”

Here are three ways to gauge whether collaboration is present in your teams’ efforts, or whether some of the collaborative efforts you see just lie on the surface.

1)      Team members discover and learn together, rather than merely ‘putting in their time.’  Central to Edison’s collaboration practices was the notion that collaboration itself involved discovery learning, not just the mere completion of tasks. Much of our definition of teamwork is based on having people simply show up at meetings, and contribute the information they were tasked to provide.

However, Edison’s definition of collaboration meant that small groups of people were truly rolling up their sleeves and learning together, not just ticking off checklists.  Greg Cox, President of the Dale Carnegie Training offices in Chicago – one of the largest in the company’s global network – notes: “Collaboration is not the same thing as teamwork. Teamwork is simply doing your part.  Collaboration involves leveraging the power of every individual to bring out each other’s strengths and differences.”

To determine if team members are truly collaborating, check to see whether they are learning together, or simply working together.

2)      Truly collaborative teams mix generalists and specialists.  Edison was constantly wary of falling into ‘thinking ruts.’  He went to great lengths to ensure that his ideas were generated from a diverse array of origins rather than just one or two.  Edison believed it was crucial to form context around a challenge or problem, and not simply tackle it through raw facts or data.  This meant that Edison’s teams consisted of individuals with diverse forms of expertise – sometimes including people whose core capabilities might even seem tangential to the work at hand. For example, a chemist and a glassblower served on the small team that solved the thorny challenge of incandescent lighting.  Edison valued their root forms of thinking such as understanding patterns and relationships between liquids as well as solid materials.

Examine whether you are putting too many specialists on a team from a single functional area, or from a particular thinking style.  Edison said, “It is not always necessary, perhaps not always desirable, to be a specialist in a subject in order to make suggestions related to which start useful angles of research. We specialists are likely to get into ruts of our specialties out of which it is difficult to progress.”  Collaboration is fueled by exchanges representing a diverse array of perspectives.

3)      Listen for the language of collaboration rather than the language of power.  In my new book Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison’s Lab, I reference research conducted by Anne Donnellon – a specialist in team dynamics, and author of the book Team Talk.  Donnellon indicates that the language used by team members in a group setting is a strong indicator of how ‘collaborative’ they are versus how vested they are in their own individual interests.   

A team which appears to be collaborating — but which in fact may be simply masking turf struggles –will demonstrate what Donnellon refers to as displays of “high power.”  This shows up as corrections, directives given abruptly from one member to another, sudden topic shifts, or outright verbal aggression. “Low power,” on the other hand, is revealed when team members constantly apologize, offer disclaimers, use excessive politeness, or hedge.  Not much collaboration happens in either type of group.

Collaborative power is present when teams are able to discuss a variety of themes in a casual and free-flowing way. Genuine expressions of cooperation and emphasis on common viewpoints are the norm. You can easily hear the differences between a group that is stuck in “high power” or “low power” modes rather than accelerating their efforts through collaborative power.

Collaboration is crucial to the competitiveness of today’s teams, and starts with the belief that collaboration itself is a unique superskill we all must master.

Read more from Sarah here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Miller Caldicott

Sarah Miller Caldicott

A great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott has been engaged in creativity and innovation throughout her life. Inspired by a family lineage of inventors dating back five generations, Sarah spent the first 15 years of her 25-year career as an executive with Global 500 firms including Quaker Oats/Pepsi and the Helene Curtis subsidiary of Unilever. Working with global teams, Sarah spearheaded major innovation initiatives in North America, Europe, and Asia. Concerned that America risks losing its innovation edge, Sarah spent three years researching Edison’s innovation methods with experts at Rutgers University. She co-authored the first book ever written on the subject of Thomas Edison’s world-changing innovation methods. Entitled Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, Sarah’s book has been translated into 5 languages and is used as an innovation textbook in graduate and undergraduate programs across the US. Sarah's newest book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, has just been released from Wiley publishing. Midnight Lunch reveals how to develop collaboration as a backbone for innovation success in the digital era.

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Midnight Lunch Team Worksheets

Sara Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and author of the new book Midnight Lunch, has translated Edison’s world-changing innovation methods for use in the 21st century. Here are some of her thoughts on collaboration:

True collaboration embraces:

  • discovery learning mindset versus a pure task orientation
  • A belief in anticipating and creating rather than merely reacting and responding
  • Presence of inspiration across multiple facets of both individual and team endeavors
  • Coherence of purpose
  • A dedication to elevating the performance of every team member
  • Connections to human and social networks of influence

Do these qualities sound different from the ones valued by your team? Do they draw upon ideas that feel new or seem broader than your current concept of what teamwork embraces?

Based on experience, the answer would be yes.

So what are you going to do about it?

Caldicott has developed a series of 12 worksheets so your team can integrate its project work with true collaboration concepts in her new book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison’s Lab.

Why not integrate these worksheets into a weekly learning exercise with your team?

 

 

Download all the worksheets here:

Week 1: The Roots of the 4 Phases of Collaboration

Week 2: Global Forces Impacting Collaboration

Week 3: Phase 1 – Capacity – Diversity

Week 4: Phase 2 – Capacity – Small Teams Foster Collegiality

Week 5: Phase 2 – Context – Solo Meld Expands Individual Creative Efforts

Week 6: Phase 3 – Context – The Pathway to Breakthroughs

Week 7: Phase 3 – Coherence: Deepening Bonds Through Inspiration

Week 8: Phase 3 – Coherence: Fostering Debate and Progress

Week 9: Phase 4 – Complexity: Spotting and Leveraging Complex Systems

Week 10: Phase 4 – Complexity: Social Media and Viral Networks

Week 11: Phase 4 – Complexity: Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Week 12: Facing the Future: The Long-Term Impacts of Collaboration

 

Read more from Sarah Miller Caldicott here.

Purchase Midnight Lunch here or as a Kindle version here.

Read our Sums book summary of Midnight Lunch here. Go here to register for our biweekly release of future Sums.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Miller Caldicott

Sarah Miller Caldicott

A great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott has been engaged in creativity and innovation throughout her life. Inspired by a family lineage of inventors dating back five generations, Sarah spent the first 15 years of her 25-year career as an executive with Global 500 firms including Quaker Oats/Pepsi and the Helene Curtis subsidiary of Unilever. Working with global teams, Sarah spearheaded major innovation initiatives in North America, Europe, and Asia. Concerned that America risks losing its innovation edge, Sarah spent three years researching Edison’s innovation methods with experts at Rutgers University. She co-authored the first book ever written on the subject of Thomas Edison’s world-changing innovation methods. Entitled Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, Sarah’s book has been translated into 5 languages and is used as an innovation textbook in graduate and undergraduate programs across the US. Sarah's newest book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, has just been released from Wiley publishing. Midnight Lunch reveals how to develop collaboration as a backbone for innovation success in the digital era.

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5 Hidden Axioms of Volunteer Management in Your Church

Effective church leaders are excellent volunteer managers. Managing your volunteer teams within your church is a nuanced and mysterious journey … It’s not always obvious what it takes to lead them well!  Here are 5 truths that I’ve found that weren’t obvious when I first start leading in church!

  • Volunteers are Donors // In a very real way volunteers are paying us to create a positive service environment for them. Treat volunteers well because they are the ones paying your salary!
  • Strategize for Friendship // We need volunteers to do tasks to make church happen however volunteers want to build relationships with other people. We are responsible for creating a service environment where friendship blossoms.
  • More Opportunities = More Volunteers // Effective church leaders find ways to create more “spaces” for volunteers. Rather than a scarcity mindset that focuses on not having enough people to fill roles … our job is to create more spots for people to serve.
  • Release Earlier // Give away the leadership of your volunteers to other volunteers as quickly as possible. Become a leader who leads leaders.
  • Think Outside the Weekend // There are tasks and activities that you could be leveraging volunteers throughout the week that would accelerate your ability to serve people. Pull volunteers into operation of what you do during the week!

What have you learned about managing volunteers over the years that wasn’t obvious when you started leading in a local church?

Read more from Rich here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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Clarity Process

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7 Ways to Adjust How Your Ministry Teams Work Together

Different than a bureaucracy, an adhocracy is a theory of organizational management within which functions, groups, and structures within organizations cut across traditionally defined lines and defy standard bureaucratic constructs. At the risk of sounding like I’m describing organizational anarchy (I’m not), it’s a philosophy that has some pretty attractive-sounding tenets, at least when those tenets are reasonably applied to certain scenarios.

An adhocracy is most assuredly a textbook example of the old easier-said-than-done adage, and just like almost any organizational theory, it has its weaknesses. And just like any idea, it’s going to be neither universally applicable nor universally successful. This model won’t work in every organization, industry, or situation; but will probably work more often than we think and in more situations than we think.

What’s this adhocracy look like? Perhaps it would be helpful to think of them as being similar to cross-departmental project teams or task forces. Or like organizational Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Or better yet–Voltron. Or something. OK, I don’t think any of those really captures the idea well, but an adhocracy has some of the below attributes:

1. People at multiple levels of the organization are empowered to make meaningful decisions.

2. No, really. They actually mean #1 above.

3. Instead of innovators being patronized or ideas being crushed, leaders value innovation over standardization, and therefore it’s more prevalent, encouraged, and rewarded. Creative confidence is built.

4. In an adhocracy, people are more OK with the gray. Folks are flipping out if authority roles aren’t as clearly defined. Find people who specialize in things, give them the information and connections they need to do their thing, and then grab some popcorn and a soda and get the heck out of the way. It’s amazing what people can do when we get out of their way.

5. On the whole, it’s well-suited to problem-solving and innovating. If that’s the sort of environment you’re going for, maybe you should give some of this a look. If you prefer having very clearly-defined authority structures where power originates more from position in hierarchy than from something else; and if your organization and/or industry is more well-suited to a methodical, measured, conservative, reactive, traditional business model; I wouldn’t suggest incorporating elements of an adhocracy.

6. Members of the organization have authority within their respective areas of specialization to make decisions and take action. This one’s tough. It means we have to let go. We don’t get to control everything. We need to trust our folks enough to let them do their thing. Often, the best thing we can do as leaders is create space for our folks to do what they’re good at and then–as I said above–get out of the way. Let them work, collaborate, and make things happen. Be there to support, advise, and roll up your sleeves and help; but not to dictate.

7. The structure itself is very organic in nature, meaning that it is very free-flowing, loose, constantly evolving, etc. I’ve said it so many times that I’m sure you’re annoyed, but organizations are clumps of humans, and since that’s the case, we need to embrace the fact that we’re all flawed, unique, weird-in-our-own-way people. So knowing that, why not roll with it more? Heck–why not harness it and take advantage of the fact that humans have this amazing ability to adapt, create, collaborate, progress, perform, grow, learn, and propel themselves and the collective forward.

Like I said, I don’t think the adhocracy is for everyone, but it may be that your team could unlock and unleash some hidden potential by employing one or more of the above adhoc-ish (I know, I know–that’s not a real word) ideas with your teammates. Or maybe there’s a particular project coming up that might lend itself to being successfully completed via an adhocracy.

So think about it. How might you be able to adjust how your team works together? What new forms or structures or constructs could potentially be tweaked in such a way that it produces new and better outcomes?

Read more from Matt here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Monge

Matt Monge

Matt is a cancer survivor who’s dead set on making the world a better place by helping organizations be better places to work. He’s currently Chief Culture Officer at Mazuma Credit Union, and also does speaking and consulting work to help other organizations with culture, development, recruiting, and leadership. He has been recognized as one of Credit Union Times’ “Trailblazers 40 Below,” and has spoken at national conferences for CUNA and NAFCU in addition to other events. He has written articles for Training magazine, the Credit Union Times, the Credit Union Executives Society, is a contributor for CU Insight, and an editor for CU Water Cooler. He is also a Training magazine Top 125 Award winner. Matt is earning his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 
comment_post_ID); ?> This is hilarious. Well done!
 
— RussellC
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Love this
 
— Ann Stokman
 

Clarity Process

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Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success

According to Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grand niece of Thomas Edison, Edison viewed true collaboration as a value creation continuum. If one were to find a single notebook entry capturing Edison’s definition of true collaboration, Caldicott believes it would read something like this:

Applying discovery learning within a context of complexity, inspired by a common goal or a shared purpose.

True collaboration for Edison operated like an invisible glue that fused learning, insight, purpose, complexity and results together in one continuous effort.

Translating Edison’s decades of groundbreaking practices into language for the 21st Century leader, Caldicott has developed a four-phase model of the collaboration process.

  • How do we create the foundation for true collaboration to flourish?

Phase 1 – Capacity: Select small, diverse teams of two to eight people who will thrive in an environment of discovery learning and collegiality.

  • How can our collaboration team reframe the problem at hand, driving the greatest range of creativity and breakthrough solutions?

Phase 2 – Context: Focus the outlook of the team toward development of new context that broadly frames the problem or challenge under consideration. Use a combination of individual learning plus hands-on activities to drive perspectives for potential solutions.

  • Can the collaboration team stay the course and continue forward despite disagreements?

Phase 3 – Coherence: Maintain collaboration momentum, creating frameworks for progress through inspiration, and inspirational leadership even though disagreements may exist. Newly discover, or re-emphasize, the shared purpose that binds the team together.

  • How can our collaboration team leverage internal and external networked resources nimbly and with speed?

Phase 4 – Complexity: Equip and reskill teams to implement new ideas or new solutions using internally and externally networked resources, rapidly accessing or managing complex data streams the team must navigate. Leave a footprint that contributes to a broader collective intelligence.

Caldicott has developed a series of worksheets so your team can integrate its project work with true collaboration concepts in her new book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison’s Lab.

Why not integrate these worksheets into a weekly learning exercise with your team?

In honor of Edison’s achievements not only through his inventions but also in the area of collaboration, today begins a 12 week series of downloads you can use with your team. Each Monday beginning today and continuing for 12 weeks, a new download will be available for your team’s use.

You can download worksheet #1 here.

Edison leaves us a legacy we can return to over and over again as we newly shape a future that embraces the highest and best of our collaborative spirit.

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.    –Thomas Edison

Go Aheadastound yourself…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 
comment_post_ID); ?> This is hilarious. Well done!
 
— RussellC
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Love this
 
— Ann Stokman
 

Clarity Process

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Characteristics of Great Teammates

Great teams are a joy to watch. OKC Thunder, LA Kings, Miami Heat, New England Patriots, and more. And of course my beloved Oklahoma Sooners!

Reality is, we are all part of some kind of team, wherever we are in life. Family, church, volunteer, sports, business, community, social. As Leaders, it’s equally important for us to know how to follow and be a great team member as it is how to LEAD and be a team leader. In fact, many believe to be a good leader, you must first be a great teammate. And I would suggest that great leaders are equally in tune with how best to be a teammate, along with how to lead well.

So here are a few thoughts on being a great team member:

1. Good teammates are great finishers. They get the job done. They take projects across the finish line.

2. Good teammates anticipate. They understand what needs to be done next before others, and are always looking for ways to make the process better.

3. Good teammates criticize their leader in private, and praise in publicEnough said on that.

4. Good teammates are trustworthyWhen given an assignment, a leader can be assured that it will get done. This is incredibly important.

5. Good teammates are vision copycats. They take on, embody and live out the vision and mission of their leader, and of the organization.

6. Good teammates make their leader betterThey push their leader, and know how to lead up appropriately and intentionally.

7. Good teammates make their other teammates better. They know how to lead their peers and lead across in an organization, and don’t rely on the leader to be the only one motivating the team, as well as holding the other teammates accountable.

8. Good teammates lead themselves. They don’t need to be managed, and aren’t needy. They don’t need all the attention from the leader.

Excerpted from the upcoming book The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick, releasing in Spring 2012 by Thomas Nelson.

Read more from Brad here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick

In a nutshell, I’m an Oklahoma boy now residing in the South. I am a passionate follower of Christ, and have the privilege of leading and directing a movement of young leaders called Catalyst. We see our role as equipping, inspiring, and releasing the next generation of young Christian leaders, and do this through events, resources, consulting, content and connecting a community of like-minded Catalysts all over the world. I appreciate the chance to continually connect with and collaborate alongside leaders.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 
comment_post_ID); ?> This is hilarious. Well done!
 
— RussellC
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Love this
 
— Ann Stokman
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.