Getting More Done by Doing Less

This is a Google Tech Talk by Marc Lesser. Even though he comes from a Zen background, there are still some excellent points, especially for those of us called to lead churches in this culture. One of the things he talks about (especially at the end of this) is about chaos/innovation. It makes sense but I had never put those two things together before.

He says something as simple as wearing your watch on the other wrist puts you into ‘chaos.’ It shakes things up. From this unfamiliarity innovation can be birth. I see how this is possible. Of course we have all heard the quip “if you keep doing what you always have done you will keep getting what you have always had…” or something like that. If we continue to do things the same way, there really isn’t much chance for innovation.

Chaos forces us to look at things differently. It forces us to access what is important and what is not. If we are thrown into chaos by some type of catastrophe, we find ourselves doing things differently. This also means that we will look at things differently too.

One of the things I’m taking away from this is to not fear the chaos. Also it might be good to create my own chaos from time to time. Perhaps something as simple as changing the time of a meeting, or the order of service might help us to find ways to innovate. This is not change for change’s sake, but rather using change (or chaos) as a tool toward innovation.

In the UMC we are in a type of chaos with the decline in membership/worship/etc. Yet, this has been such a slow decline that we have been able to adapt rather than being thrown into complete chaos. We still believe we can ‘fix’ the things that are wrong. Perhaps it is time to make drastic changes to throw us into complete chaos. For example…how much chaos would we be in if we stopped statistical measurements? What if we canceled worship services? What if we stopped having our administrative meetings in the church building? You get the idea. We would be forced to think differently. That could be a very good thing.

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