Blog Archives

How Leaders Squash Innovation

Some of the most creative and helpful ministry ideas flow from environments where experimentation and implementation of ideas that differ from what an organization or church has never done. Though not a Christian organization, Apple, lead by Steve Jobs, by far is one of the greatest leaders in innovation. Whether its deciding after an extended period of specializing in computers deciding to create a phone, ipods, and more recently the iPad, their innovation is unmatched and they demonstrate that sometimes a deviation from the “norm” may be just what is needed to launch an organization or ministry forward into greater effectiveness and impact.

Sometimes innovation can be perceived as a threat and result in resistance in the heart, mind and actions of leaders. Here are some of the ways that squashing innovation gets played out.

Require Unchallenged Submission to your Authority – “why?” questions are deemed disrespectful/viewed as unreasonable to you; and no one should dare voice disagreement. If you tend to surround yourself with “yes” women/men watch out, your insecurities may be showing.

Dictate after you Delegate – Share position and responsibilities without handing over proper authority.

Say words like “we don’t do things that way here” (thanks to Seth Godin for this one) – By saying this you get obedience and submission but kill innovation.

Inadequately Resource a Staff Member or Ministry Area you Profess to Support – A church or organization’s budget speaks volumes regarding where their heart is. Enough said!

Does your organization or ministry encourage and inspire creativity and innovation or squelch it? In order to encourage innovation try doing the opposite of at least one of the above observations.