"The fewer natural resources your country or company has, the more you will dig inside yourself for innovations in order to survive." - Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of The Twenty-First Century
And how true his statement is... In fact, if I compare my time working in organizations that had plenty of resources (financially & personnel) to time spent working in organizations where resources were severely limited - if even there at all - I can clearly recall that my personal level of innovation and creativity was much, much higher in the latter organization.
It seems like when resources are in abundance, the simple answer to everything is "money" or "personnel". But when money or personnel isn't there - the only other option is to sit down, think and innovate. Or...you can just give up and ultimately bring a slow and agonizing death to the organization.
When we were going through our "survival" days at The Orchard (which really wasn't that long ago...), during the thick of our turnaround/transition, I can remember sitting in staff meetings telling our staff that the innovative side of us was being developed and stretched in a big way and that one day we would look back and realize that without these seasons of lack and not enough resources, we would have never learned how to innovate the way we have.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that having plenty of resources might just be the worst thing that could happen in any organization. So the question that I'm continually asking myself is, "As resources become more and more available, how do we continue to foster an environment of innovation?"
Ship of Fools has perhaps the greatest web invention since Google. Ok, well maybe not, but it is kind of fun. It's called the Biblical Curse Generator. Just type in what you would LIKE to say to someone and it will generate the Biblical equivilent of "(@*#&$@#$(*&!!!!"
Here's a few that I typed in (I'll share only the translation...):
Woe unto thee, thou babbling Assyrian, for you will be smitten with all-over boils!
Woe unto thee, O ye creature of the pit, for you will be thrown into a den of hyperactive lions!
I hope you will be whipped with a thousand scorpions, O ye armpit of Satan!
May you be cast onto a steaming dung-heap, O thou incompetent tax-collector!
Thou shalt fall under a speeding chariot, thou sad Pharisee!
I pray thou shalt become as popular as a boil on the king's backside, thou sad Pharisee!
I don't know who these people are or how I found their blog, but I absolutely love how positive and upbeat they are! Their organization (which I'm guessing is design or marketing) looks like it would be a great place to work. Of course, the fun could be because most of their pictures show them drinking beer. Not sure...
But anyway...every time I read their blog it makes me ask myself what I am doing to create a fun, creative and optimistic environment in my workplace. I know that a lot of it has to do with the consistent attitude displayed by the leader - but I also believe that there are very intentional things we can do to create fun, creative and optimistic environments in our workplaces.
What about sounds, colors, and smells? How do those play into all of this?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Color the walls.
I propose a revolution against plain, white walls. There are still too many of them in our organization. I hate them. They smell of a boring, corporate, stiff-necked environment. And more than anything, they don't reflect who we are at The Orchard.
2. Play some music.
A dead, silent office is B O R I N G and very non-motivating. Why not have background music playing all day in the hallways, lobby and offices (Perhaps a little Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, or a little classical on a rainy day...)
3. Brew Coffee.
For real... Nothing is as nice as the smell of freshly brewed coffee. I love walking into The Orchard on Sunday morning and smelling the coffee emanating from our coffeehouse, Common Grounds. It's the best!
4. Create a story wall.
There is nothing that motivates and inspires more than stories. Why not have a wall designated to team accomplishments and stories of changed lives? And then.....on those days when it feels like nothing is happening, go sit in front of "the wall" and read. Have a "selah" moment in front of the wall.
Ok - so now, it's your turn. How would (or do) YOU create a fun, creative, optimistic environment?
I'm in my 15th hour of my workday. I know, it's crazy... But that's Tuesdays for me. Tuesdays are my craziest days. I get here early in the AM and stay late as heck. I typically try to wipe out most of my meetings on Tuesdays (including staff meeting - which went for about 3 hours today).
Here was my day:
6:30am - Woke up to 95.5FM Smooth Jazz pipin' on the Bose Wave Radio 7:38am - Kissed the girls and pulled out of my driveway 7:41am - Pulled up at Starbucks for my first caffeine injection of the day (right near my home!) 8:12am - Pulled up at my office 9:16am - After some quiet time and day planning, I began my day by taking notes from an Andy Stanley video 9:45am - Daily briefing w/ Terri (my assistant) 10:15am - Quick meeting w/ Amber (staff) 10:30am - Closed door doing early weekend prep (writing) 12:30pm - 3:30pm - Staff Meeting (Long one today, but VERY productive!) 3:30pm - Caffeine run to Starbucks for 2nd caffeine injection (and treated a few staff...) 4:00pm - Private appointment, office 6:30pm - Meeting with Production Team Leader 7:30pm - Meeting with Production Team & Music Team 8:10pm - Meeting with Production Team (First Wednesday prep) 9:25pm - Listening to new songs w/ music team 10:54pm - Trying to figure out why I'm still here.
I'm excited about our next First Wednesday coming up on October 5th! Special guests, Daniel Groves & Band will be with us at The Orchard. Daniel is at the top of my list when it comes to worship leaders. We're privileged to have him and I have no doubt that it's going to be an awesome evening!
If you live in the Chicago area, come on out on the 5th! First Wednesdays begin at 7pm. If you need more info, contact me or shoot an email to us at The Orchard.
Thanks to Dell, my notebook is back in action. It's running way better and feels almost brand new (of course, anything will feel brand new after using the old laptop I've been using the past few days!)
Now I've got a LOT of work to catch up on... Happy Friday!
Excuses for eating leftover birthday cake at 1:19AM:
Someone left it out on the table uncovered and it looked like it was getting dry so I had to eat it so that it wouldn't be wasted.
Sugary foods aren't good for people - especially my dear family. So being the noble and God loving person that I am, I am eating all of the leftover cake to remove any temptation that might present itself to my girls.
I was tired, but I wanted to do some reading, so a quick sugar high will be good so I can get through more than a half a page.
Just in case tonight was one of those nights that I wasn't able to sleep well, it will be easier to fall asleep on the other end of the sugar high.
I'm not fat enough.
Since it was Julia's 1st birthday, I didn't want her to see leftover cake and think that people didn't want to "celebrate."
Jesus appeared to me in a vision and told me that.........ok, nevermind...I think I'm gonna puke.
First the picture (from a church's website - click for larger image):
Not sure where that is from, but it's an interesting concept and one that we've thought about many times.
When we first began our "turnaround"/transition/whatever you want to call it at The Orchard, we considered doing a couple of different worship environments. For us, that would have meant doing a "traditional/the way things always were" type service for the "existing" crowd and then a contemporary/emerging gathering for the people we were "really" trying to reach (our demographics and community.)
After a lot of conversation, prayer and advice from some ministry friends, we decided that trying to reach two different crowds would bring more division than unity into our church. SO...we decided to focus on the contemporary/emerging approach (not to say that the emerging church has an "approach" per se...but you get my point...)
For us, that is our focus right now. And it's definitely the right thing. But I'm curious as to what some of you have found to be effective (or not) in terms of doing more than one worship environment. (Not to be confused with multi-site; unless other sites have a completely different approach/feel/style - which I would love to hear about.)