My wife and I were watching TV and a commercial for Post Shredded Wheat came on. While I am not an avid commercial watcher, every now and then an advertisement, or its tag line, will grab my attention. This was the case for this commercial as they stated the tagline: “We put the ‘NO’ in innovation!” (I.e. inNOvation)
I laughed out loud. What a great line! They were attempting to communicate they are a company of tradition, wholesomeness and dependability in these unstable times…at least I think that was the attempt....
I believe churches and people can learn to be innovative. In his book, The Truth About Innovation, author Max Mckeown states, “A distinction is typically made between invention, an idea made manifest, and innovation, ideas applied successfully.” Understanding this will hopefully motivate us to be innovative people and churches. Meaning, we can take existing ideas and apply them to our context. Doing this can move us from inNOvation to INnovation. That is, move us from saying “no” to ideas to working “in” ideas we uncover.
I offer the following to develop an INnovation mindset:
1. Increase your “IA” (idea awareness) quotient: Look in a variety of places for ideas. Do not limit yourselves to what other churches do, but see what businesses are finding effective. An example would be Craig’s list. Many churches are finding this to be an effective tool.
2. Know your context: It is difficult to apply ideas to your situation if you don’t fully understand the situation. Not every idea is for you, nor is it adaptable to your context.
3. Sit in a different chair: When I sit in a different chair I gain a different perspective of the room in which it is placed. View ideas from a variety of perspectives. Look at them from various angles. An idea that doesn’t look good from the top may look completely different from the side.
4. Try stuff: We get too tentative when it comes to trying an idea. An idea that doesn’t work is not an indication of our failure. It does indicate that the idea was not the best, or didn’t fit our situation. Melinda Gates when asked about ideas her and husband Bill’s Foundation comes up with said, “We will get out there and try something. If it doesn’t work, we will try something else. And we will keep trying until we find something that works” (Fast Company, June 09, p62).
What is it for you? InNOvation or INnovation? The choice is yours.
Taken from, "Expanding Wave" www.wesleyan.org/ecg