Processing Change, Paradigm-Shifting & Innovation Mapping

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesI thought I’d lost my voice. I’d sit in front of my laptop and stare at the blank white page with the blinking cursor. Nothing. After much prayer and many moons without a new blog that got me excited, I asked God to show me why I lacked the inspiration. What He revealed was not what I expected, nor at a place I would have thought could reveal the answer. I recently attended the Echo conference, which is really a cool, hip conference for designers, creatives and communicators from the church world. My friends Rob Thomas and Jeff Parker have created something special with Echo and it showed with the incredibly talented, and mostly young people speaking and attending the conference. As I write this, I’m 39. That’s not “old” unless it’s in relation to 20-something creatives that saturated the Echo conference. After two days of watching young, passionate, burgeoning leaders teach and share, I realized I was no longer tethered to this kind of conference. Since my own 20-something age (23), I’ve spent the majority of those years teaching at conferences that drew the kinds of crowds that Echo has attracted. Yet God spoke clearly to me at Echo and severed the tether of my desire to be a part of that space as a leader. What I’ve learned is that God needed me to set aside my past experiences and “career” and start with a fresh, blank page. Instead of blogging about the things that used to consume my work, He’s breathing into me a whole new book, not just a new chapter....

Manage Projects So They Don’t Manage You

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesI’ll cut right to the chase: nearly every task and activity is a project. Some are simply more involved and take longer to accomplish. Some are reoccurring; others happen once in a blue moon. Yet they all have this in common: “If you don’t take time to manage your projects, your projects will manage to take your time.” I’ve not found the “perfect” project management tool, so I use a combination of tools that fit each situation. I have a moleskin that I use to write down tasks and project information in ad-hoc meetings. I also use Evernote on my iPhone when I need to quickly record audio or take a picture to help me with the project details. My one “constant” is the online software, Basecamp, by 37 Signals, which I use at work to help organize, prioritize, share, delegate & track project progress. In the past, I’ve been in companies that used Microsoft’s Project, the mother of all project management tools, but my experience with it revealed to me that you’ll need a certified project manager to make that software really sing. Admittedly, managing projects means that I have to take the time to enter projects and care about the progress as my own accountability. We’re only as accountable as we want to be, so this requires a certain level of discipline. When you think about it, learning project management is a must-have skill that will serve you well in church, business and life. In fact, through my years of consulting I’ve made the recommendation for churches to hire certified (or even a...