(Ryan Patrick is a contributing editor to The Daily Blur. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You’re going to like him. A lot. You can check out his growing archive of posts here.)
Six weeks ago, the leaders at my church asked members for our feedback. We were each given two simple questions to answer about specific areas of the church building:
2. Where can we improve?
They received 337 comments.
Forty percent praising what the church was doing well and around 60 percent suggesting ways to make it better.
Now, here’s what the average North American church would do with this data:
- Form a “Suggestions Committee” to read, edit, pare down, and collate the findings.
- The committee chairperson would then formally present their findings to the deacons.
- The deacons would add the discussion to next month’s deacon’s meeting.
- At next month’s meeting, the deacons would pour over the data and determine that only a handful of the 337 comments should be considered.
- These comments would then be passed on to the Feasibility Committee to determine if they are doable.
- After determining there are only three suggestions that are feasible, the findings are then passed on to the Finance Committee to find out if there is money in the budget to cover the cost of implementation.
- Once approved by the Finance Committee, the deacons call a special church business meeting.
- The suggestions are brought before the church body.
- The church body would offer their thoughts and concerns.
- The church body would then vote on the proposed suggestions.
- The vote passes…maybe.
- The suggestions are then disseminated among the various church committees who may or may not take action.
Yep, that’s what the average church would do.
But ours is not the average church.
No committees. No meetings. No vote.
They simply started making changes. Immediately.
“We need parking spots for expectant mothers.”
“The foyer needs better directional signs to specific areas.”
“It would be nice to have name tags and lanyards for volunteers and greeters.”
“The walls of the worship center need a new color scheme.”
They took the suggestions and ran with them. Our church building has improved. So has morale among our members because the church leaders have demonstrated that our ideas are not only welcome but essential.
What about you? Are you willing to ask your employees or your customers for their input? More importantly, are you willing to follow through and implement some of their ideas?
Begin with these two questions:
1. What are we doing well?
2. Where can we improve?
You need to be prepared for some bonehead answers and not-so-constructive criticism. But you also need to be prepared for some jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-myself ideas.
Then, execute. Apply. Make it so.
Just don’t form a committee.
If you want to kill any idea in the world today, get a committee working on it. -Charles F. Kettering