What actually works

“There’s plenty we do – plenty we’ve always done – that has nothing to do with what actually works.”  Seth Godin from “Small is the New Big”

 Today in our staff meeting we had a discussion that hit on this subject a bit.  Each year we set a staff Thematic Goal, a rallying cry, something that we are committed to for the year that we believe God has laid on our heart to relentlessly pursue.  Throughout the year, we have a series of discussions on how we can measure, apply, move forward with our Thematic Goal.  Today we were talking about what we need to raise, create, reduce or eliminate (an exercise from the book “Blue Ocean Strategy”) in some of our ministry areas to help us be more effective in reaching people with the Gospel. 

When was the last time you evaluated what you do?  What are you doing that has nothing to do with what actually works?  

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  • Josh April 2, 2008  

    I always find the annual strategy rallying cries to be frustrating because they don’t work. Big thematic goals are useful to get staff pointed in the right direction, but unless they are continually refined/readjusted throughout the year, you will more than likely miss the target for which you are aiming.

    I like to take my staff through monthly quitting exercises (based on Seth’s book The Dip) and ask questions like “what are we doing that isn’t providing the expected outcome” and “what is getting in the way of us achieving our goals?” We then stack hands and agree to quit doing the things that aren’t moving us in the right direction and distracting us from what we’re really good at.

  • Brian Alexander April 2, 2008  

    Thanks for the encouragement but I am too busy going through life with my head down to actually eval what I’m doing.


  • Jenni Catron April 2, 2008  

    Josh – thanks for your comments. I agree, thematic goals are useless without constant evaluation. We have created our structure so that we are repeatedly going back to the goal to reassess and redefine if necessary. That approach has worked well for us. Thanks for sharing what you and your team do.