I have an idea…
“It will never work.”
“We don’t have the budget to do it.”
“It will take too much time and we just don’t have any to waste.”
“The board won’t like it.”
“The members won’t want to do that.”
“That isn’t the way we do things at this church.”
“Why do we need this?”
These are just a sample of the typical answers pastors are likely to hear when they have an idea. Don’t scoff to easily, think about it a second. After a few perfunctory, “That’s great” or “Sounds interesting” we generally work our way to some of those same responses.
We are most like our creator when we’re creative. God wired us to be creative. Children are very creative. They are born creative. It’s normal. We get the creativity kicked out of us as time goes by. We learn to be afraid. But a theology of innovation always reminds us that God intends us to be creative. ~ Rick Warren
If change or improvement is what we seek, then changing what we do or how we do it should be encouraged not discouraged. What would it look like for the pastor to act as innovation coach within the church?We are most like our creator when we’re creative...a theology of innovation always reminds us that God intends us to be creative @RickWarren Click To Tweet
Mitch Ditkoff, author and innovation expert, believes that leaders should act as Innovation Coaches. It is an interesting idea. The question of innovation and pastors may come down to whose ideas are being pursued; the pastor’s alone, or others as well.
“Most managers, unfortunately, perceive new ideas as problems — especially if the ideas are not their own. Bottom line, they don’t pay enough attention to the ideas of the people around them. They say they want to innovate. They say they want ‘their people’ to do something different. But they do precious little to support their subordinates in their efforts to do so. They foist their ideas on others and can’t figure out why things aren’t happening faster.
“That’s not how change happens. If people are only acting out somebody else’s ideas, it’s only a matter of time before they feel discounted, disempowered and… well…just plain dissed. People are more than hired hands; they are hired minds and hearts, as well.”
Coaches empower others to reach within themselves and pull out their best, their best ideas and innovations. Imagine if pastors became a coach to help their people to pull out their best ideas and support them in the endeavor of finding, creating, and developing these ideas into innovative practices that impact their churches, ministries, members, and communities. Imagine if pastors become Innovation Coaches, tapping into the heart, soul, mind, and strength of those they lead and shepherd.
“If you want to empower people, honor their ideas. Give them room to challenge the status quo. Give them room to move — and, by extension, move mountains.
Nothing is more powerful and unstoppable than empowered and excited ministry leaders and church members taking huge faithfilled innovative leaps for the Kingdom. These are the people who can and do change the world.
“You want to create an environment where new ideas are popping all the time. If you do, old problems and ineffective ways of doing things will begin dissolving. This is the hallmark of an empowered organization — a place where everyone is encouraged and empowered to think creatively. Within this kind of environment managers become coaches, not gatekeepers.”
“Creativity cannot be legislated. It cannot be sustained by mission statements and pep talks. What needs to happen is you, as a manager, need to change the way you relate to people. Each encounter you have with another in the workplace needs to quicken the likelihood that their unexpressed ideas will get a fair hearing — enabling a far greater percentage of them to eventually take root.
What is also important key for innovation is being humble enough to implement ideas that do come from you. Pastors who want to be innovative must be humble enough to be open to ideas from others and obedient enough to follow through when God makes it clear it is time to change.
So the next time one of your people comes to you with an idea, be a Innovation Coach and help them develop the idea into something truly innovative.Great innovation comes from asking great questions ~ @RickWarren Click To Tweet
Mitch suggests the following innovation coaching questions:
- That sounds interesting. Can you tell me more?
- What excites you the most about this idea?
- What is the essence of your idea – the core principle?
- How do you imagine your idea will benefit others?
- In what ways does your idea fit with our strategic vision?
- What information do you still need?
- Who are your likely collaborators?
- Is there anything similar to your idea on the market?
- What support do you need from me?
- What is your next step?