Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
But did you know that this is really a very rare occurance for the innovator? The normal reality is one of anonymity. When God births an idea in your head and begins to work in your heart to develop it, usually it is not done in front of an audience. It is done in a quiet place - an out of the way place.
In fact the good ideas usually take a long time to "cook" as our friend Dr. Hiebert used to say. That cooking is tedious, frustrating and lonely. But there are no shortcuts to it. There are no other avenues to pursue. To innovate you must accept the times of anonymity.
A resource to help you in this process is this week's Innovation Book of the Week - Anonymous.
Check out my review and I hope it is a help and a blessing.
If you have any thoughts on what you have done in those anonymous times, take a minute to share them for all of our readers. That would be a great encouragement.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So we have this wonderful heritage of literacy with missions work. But many in recent years have been asking a question, "Is literacy required to gain an understanding of spiritual things?" This was an innovative question to ask for sure. The result of asking that question was the Orality Movement. The basic idea is that if we have the right techniques and tools, we can communicate to pre-literate and illiterate peoples in a way that will help them understand the Gospel and grow in their faith.
Now that is the concept of Orality, but I would like to present a further innovation in visual communication. A member of our facebook group - Clyde Taber (a former staff member with the Jesus Film Project) - is helping to coordinate a new group called the Visual Story Network. This idea takes the basic concept of tools for oral learners and then looks at a specific subset of those tools - visual ones.
This is a critical area of work because pre-literate, illiterate and post-literate people all respond to visual stories. But in the missions movement, we have been slow to identify and use visual tools because we have been so text heavy. Don't read that as a criticism, it is just a reality of how missions tools developed.
So the big innovation question is this, "How can visual stories transform how we communicate the Gospel?" Whether you are trying to reach people who have never read one word or those who have given up reading in a highly visual generation, this is an important question.
If you are interested in exploring this network of innovators, check out their site. Even better, go to the Visual Story Network Forum that is being held alongside the International Orality Network Conference in Dallas September 16-18.
The goals of the event are to:
1. Gather and engage visual story “innovators and early adaptors” around the vision of a global movement
2. Develop strategy groups focused on Training and Equipping, North America and Global Opportunities. Each strategy group will focus on two achievable objectives (6-9 month time frame).
3. Provide training in the development and use of visual story for kingdom impact
4. Develop relationships with the leaders in the International Orality Network. While their focus is on the use of oral story formats, we believe there are lessons to be shared between the two communities.
5. Provide networking opportunities
6. Present current models of effective visual story
Thursday, August 07, 2008
This quick read is an excellent resource for innovators. John Naisbitt very quickly goes through 11 mindsets that we need to consider if we are to see the world differently. These have been very helpful to me as I have strived to tackle big problems.
But he goes beyond describing these 11 mindsets. In the second part of the book he really focuses in on case studies from the real world and how these mindsets play out.
If you haven't read it yet, pick it up. A quick scan will be very beneficial
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
There are two key components to handling Innovation Rejection:
1. Your Attitude: As an innovator, you need to hold your ideas and excitement lightly. You never know what will catch on, what will work, what will make sense. If you personally invest so heavily in an idea that you can't discard it when it doesn't work, you will not see your innovations succeed.
2. Your Identity: As an innovator, your identity needs to be in Christ and not in your ideas. If you get your value and worth from your ability to come up with new ideas, you will find yourself defensive, frustrated and hopeless. If you get your identity from your ability to innovate, then your very worth as a person will come from your success. So when you fail you will feel worthless.
The innovator that can hold ideas lightly and anchor their identity in Christ will find a creative freedom that is hard to contain. God is ready to let you loose on the world. Failure will be a part of that reality, but in God's strength you will learn from each rejection and go on.
An successfull innovator is not someone who doesn't fail, they are someone who reaches beyond their failures to learn key leasons that will lead to the next great endeavor.