Increasing Innovation at your Church through Quick Feedback Loops

Great organizations and great churches adopt a pattern of constant change. They intentionally organize themselves to allow for nimbleness, flexibility, and responsiveness. They tweak, tinker, build on islands of strength and innovate. They quickly turn vision into reality allowing them to get to the next iteration faster.

Making the right change, however hinges on having the right information. I’m not simply talking about having the right metrics. It requires the Sr. Leadership Team to actually know what’s working, what’s not, and why. This kind of information requires creating quick feedback loops, from the right sources, so Sr. Leaders have access to front line information so better decisions can be made faster.

Here are a couple of examples of what that looks like in church-world where I live.

Weekend Evaluation Meetings: First thing each Monday morning Campus Teams run a quick 15 minute conversation about what worked, what was wrong, what was confusing or what was missing. They solve what they can on their own and communicate core issues that need to go back to the Central Service Team. By Monday afternoon I have a pretty firm grasp on what happened on each campus.

Campus Pastor Gatherings: Monthly lunches with Campus Pastors with no agenda but to stay connected to the Sr. Leadership Team allow for casual unfiltered conversation that consistently leads to identifying islands of strength and opportunities for improvement.

Millennial Coaching Group: A monthly leadership-coaching group with millennial lay leaders allows for fresh input, interesting new insights, and core assumptions to be challenged.

Staff Lunches: Annually Sr. Leaders have lunch with Staff from each individual Campus at a time. It’s a relaxed no holds barred, ask anything environment. It gives front line employees access to Sr. Leaders and allows those same Sr. Leaders to know first hand what challenges the team is facing, what their concerns are, and what their needs are.

Campus Score Cards: When Central Service Staff attend a campus on the weekend they fill out a simple online survey about their experience that weekend. Those results go right to the Campus Pastor on Monday for direct feedback from fresh eyes.

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