No creative person enjoys doing the same thing over and over…even when it succeeds.
The joy of being creative is the angst that comes with fighting “the norm.” We’ve been given the gift to be creative and with this gift – the responsibility of using it to develop new things. Being innovative is about change. It’s about challenging the status quo and attempting to usher in “the new.” New might be a product, an idea, new features, or different price points, but ultimately it’s about changing how we, and our end users, look at what we do. Change impacts both theirs and our world. We can’t always control how people respond, but we can control how we approach our work and how committed we’ll be to creating change. We get to control if we’re going to be a Shift Agent.
In order to become a shift agent, we must start by altering our own mental models. It’s not about “going big” or “thinking out of the box,” we have to get out of our own way. We have to adopt new outlooks and likely challenge everything we do in order to position ourselves to help impact change. What mental trap are you caught in today that is keeping you from looking at your world differently? What are you doing that stopped working a long time ago? Do you still know why you’re doing what you’re doing today? Is that action creating the results that you need to accomplish your goal? What would happen if you did everything different today?
Here’s an example:
Imagine you worked for the Russian cafe chain Tsiferblat and when you show up for work, they tell you that you are not to take any money for coffee, Wi-Fi, or food. You would think…this isn’t a coffee shop, this is a soup kitchen. But the business model for Tsiferblat is about leasing space in their environments for people to come in and work. You pay for the time you spend in the coffee shop. It’s a new paradigm. If we’re going to come up with new ideas, we have to get comfortable challenging our old ones. Tsiferblat is more than happy to be a venue for meetings; they’ve switched their model from selling a product to actually allowing their space and environment to be the product. A coffee shop that doesn’t focus on coffee but rather focuses on community, environment, and space? That is a shift!
So where can we shift? Where do we need to shift? What if our shift is just the thing that propels our churches and organizations towards what we know they can and should be.
Are you brave enough to challenge your own status quo today? You may just create the next “norm.”