Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Category: Culture (page 1 of 27)

Building a Culture of Engagement

How do you transition or transform a culture to own the vision with you?  One of the challenges I see with many churches is that the Ephesians 4:11-14 passages are aspirational far greater than a reality.  Too few people are doing too much of the work with the rest sitting and watching.

 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Building a culture of engagement is critical, but how do you do it?Todd E at Austin Stone It was 8-years ago as a Pastor of a church we began a major transition toward a new way of being the church, through launching Missional Communities.  You can learn a bit about our experience when I spoke at an Acts 29 Bootcamp, in 2009 on the topic of Practical Missional Ecclesiology.  Yet the reality is that the transition was harder and many people did not make it through the transition.  I know I’m not alone as many of the people I’ve talked with have struggled in this transition.   I appreciate a lot of what Todd Engstrom reports on their experience at Austin Stone, including that after 2 years of launching MC’s only 10% were living out that vision and 5-years later this number grew to 50%.  Read his blog, very helpful! When we struggled because people didn’t buy in at the level we hoped, I was frustrated.  It left me scratching my head and feeling  the vision justified the shifts we felt compelled to make.  It was in the years to follow, upon reflection, that I felt something wasn’t right.   Lately I’ve read a couple books (see below for recommended reading) about influence and engagement that pinpointed some of the challenges we faced and how I’d do it differently.

How would I do lead change differently? top-6-actions-to-create-engagement

Step 1: Create Engagement:  Learn the top 6 actions to create engagement.

  • Communicating a clear vision of the future
  • Building trust in the organization
  • Involving employees in decisions that affect them
  • Demonstrating commitment to the company’s values
  • Being seen to respond to feedback
  • Demonstrating genuine commitment to employees’ well being

Step 2: Co-create:  I’d recognize we told, sold and at best implicated people in the transition.  We never really co-created what this future could look like.  When the leadership changes the vision abruptly, a covenant of trust is damaged unless this is led well.  I recommend you pre-order (comes out 10/14) a copy of Caesar Kalinowski new book Small Is Big, Slow Is Fast: Living and Leading Your Family and Community on God’s Mission.

In Small Is Big, Slow Is Fast, Caesar Kalinowski blows up assumed and accepted ideas behind kingdom growth and presents counter-intuitive models that demonstrate that at the end of the day, multiplication wins—not addition. Each of the chapters unpacks the natural process steps of kingdom growth: Engage, Equip, and Expand. You will discover the secret to starting out small and going (seemingly) slower—and not feeling guilty about it. And you’ll be encouraged to trust that when you lay the right foundations, multiplication will occur and it will always be “faster” and more successful in the long run. You don’t have to have the talents of a rock star or the wisdom of Yoda to effectively and naturally live a life on mission, making disciples who make disciples. Instead, it is the everyday ordinary things done with greater gospel-intentionality that will make all the difference…slowly, over time. Learn to respond to God’s call to each of us right where we’re at—in our own families and neighborhoods.

Four-Approaches-to-Engagement Step #3: Influence instead of Control: Learn how to leverage highly valuable behavior through influence.  Adapt the elements from Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition with the gospel to make them less legalistic and more freedom-based. Six-sources-of-influence

I’m glad to have another opportunity to serve at a local church in helping shape the future transition to the missional community model using these ideas.  It’s definitely going to be a go slow to go fast approach.


Recommended Reading: Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition, The CEO Chief Engagement Officer: Turning Hierarchy Upside Down to Drive Performance and The Art of Servant Leadership: Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others.

Weekly Family Meetings

Each week our family meets to go through our family meeting. This gives us the time to reflect on the week, prepare for the week ahead, share goals, learn about each other and have fun with a family game. Here are some of the things we cover:

1) Our family mission, values & rules.
2) One Word Open about how we are feeling.
3) Review of the responsibility Chart (our boys earn allowance based on these responsibilities & bonus things assigned to them).
4) Our family charity. In addition to money we tithe, we selected a family charity we are giving money toward. We update this each week.
5) We go over the highlight, low point of each week as well as any concerns or things we are looking forward to the week ahead.
6) We all have 2 goals we are tracking. Here we update what took place during the week (status) and what we plan to do next.
7) We come up with a question of the week. (eg. What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Where would you like to travel to? What super power would you want/and why?
8. Family Fun Time. Each week we rotate who gets to pick the family game we play.
9. Lastly, we do a one word close to select how we are feeling now. It’s always cool to see the change from the one word open.

The Entrepreneurial Journey to Leadership

How do you go from starting a business, church or other organization to transitioning to leading the staff or volunteers looking to you? I believe this is one of the more difficult work transitions people have; from doing the work, to managing others. This requires a paradigm shift. I believe this can be because what we do is wrongly tied to our identity and how we ‘value’ ourselves. I went to a training and wanted to share a concept I learned that goes through the steps that often take place. I’m generalizing, so of course this may not be everyone’s experience.

Often people start out as the Worker. In this role they do 90% technical work and 10% people interaction. If all goes well, soon things are growing and as a Supervisor they take on a person and work alongside them, 75% technical and 25% people interaction. The next phase is manager, where with a bigger team the Manager requires 50% technical skill and 50% people. This is where the barrier to moving from Manager to Leader emerges in the form of the drama triangle. Why? Managers and below find half or more of their energy being defined by what they do (technical) rather than their people leadership. Moving into the Leader role is a significant leap, one where 90% of your time is with people and 10% is on technical things. (see triangle with percentages of technical/people skills here.)

The Drama Triangle evolves when a person struggles to move from Manager to Leader. As they struggle with not ‘doing the work’ they take on a role of Hero or Village. The Hero often withholds information or put people in positions to ‘save them’ when they provide this info or do the work. On the flip side, the Villain plays a ‘Devil’s Advocate’ role or uses seagull management to fly by and do their business on others work. Both of these put the people that work for them in the role of Victim.

Where do you go from here? As a Leader you should be the holder of the vision and guider of the group dynamics as you pursue a common purpose. The Leader should shift from Hero to Coach that has no illusion that they can save anyone. The Villain role changes to one of Challenger that suspends judgement (a Villain often is motivated by being right and/or looks for someone to blame ie the Victim). And finally, the Victim needs to take ownership and recognize when they blame others, they give away their power.

Refer a person looking to buy or sell a home and build one for a needy family

I’d like to invite you into a way to build a home for a needy family in Tijuana. My wife and I spoke about a way to give back from the success she’s having as a real estate agent. My wife is in the hunt for National rookie of the year for Keller Williams (2012 will be officially her first full year and she has 5 homes closed or going through escrow, after she started in May of 2011 and sold 9 homes).

How can you help? If you know anyone in the US looking to buy or sell a home, we will connect them with a top agent (based on the agents past performance) in the area they live.

And with every lead you’ll be sent a $25 gift card to Starbucks just for your help! And..

One needy family will have a home built for every 10 homes sold.

This program will be run through YWAM’s Homes for Hope. They have been building homes in the Baja area of Mexico for almost 20 years now and have completed over 3000 houses. Target groups are the poorest of the poor – those in food poverty, that do not have shelter improvement as their first priority and those experiencing basic-needs poverty, who while they can feed themselves, have little left to improve their living conditions. It is recognized that given the right circumstances and assistance, both these groups will be able to change their circumstances and future productivity. In 1997, in recognition of the impact in the city of Tijuana, the Mayor awarded YWAM San Diego/Baja the Civic Merit Award from the City of Tijuana (the highest award given) for service to the community.

Participate in the Homes for Hope Real Estate Challenge.

EO Accelerator – San Diego Startups and Entrepreneurs

Are you a start-up or entrepreneur in the San Diego area? I serve on the board The Entrepreneurs’ Organization that is launching an Accelerator program here in San Diego in the first quarter of 2012. This is EO’s facilitated learning program for entrepreneurs in the emerging space – those with annual sales of $250,000 to $1 million and under age 47. The idea is to help grow the next generation of entrepreneurs and to provide them with the tools to climb past that $1 million mark. Accelerator classes are small as the program operates with a maximum of 30 participants.

I strongly support the Accelerator San Diego Program and I’m excited about how much impact this program will have on your business. Accelerator is a huge opportunity to grow your business through intense, facilitated learning and connections to Entrepreneurs’ Organization. EO San Diego members are involved as mentors to help the participants digest the content and apply it to your business.

There are only 30 spots, and this is going to fill up fast!

Post a comment with your email and I’ll connect you with the right people to learn more!

Communications 3.0 Trends that will impact your ministry.

Read the Communication 3.0 article at Outcomes

With the growth of the web, new forms of communication are becoming dominant. Old methods of communication are impacted by this change. For example, the U.S. Postal Service is considering the elimination of Saturday delivery because mail is down 26 percent in 5 years. Or look at the newspaper industry. We are seeing not only new ways to read the news, but a whole transformation of the industry. Technology’s growth creates behavioral and organizational change in deep ways. These changes require your organization to communicate and interact with people in new and different ways.

Let us look at a few trends that will change how you engage your audience:
(1) The impact of the Internet is more than technological; it is about worldviews
As the web catches more of our lives in its grip, it becomes a layer through how we view the world. We are becoming more dependent on it. Behavior changes, such as forgetting people’s phone numbers as we keep them on our cell phone, continues with each new technology we adopt. Think about this: one-third of women aged 18 to 34 first check Facebook when they wake up, according to a 2010 study by Oxygen Media & Lightspeed Research of 1,605 young adults. Twenty-one percent of these women check Facebook in the middle of the night, and 57 percent of young women say they talk to more people online than face to face. Facebook is just one site that is changing the rules of how we behave.

Organizations need to see that the impact from the web is larger than the technology itself because it reflects a new worldview. There has been a change in how new generations see the world. In his 1993 book, Post-Capitalist Society, the late Peter Drucker worded it this way:

“Every few hundred years in Western history, there occurs a sharp transformation . . . within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions . . . Fifty years later, there is a new world and the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through just such a transformation.”

Technology is accelerating this process of change. For example, do you think social media would have taken off as it has if it were around in the 1950s? Or was there a different view of authority that would have discouraged people from posting their opinion online? Part of the explosion of social media is that it aligns with a postmodern worldview. It is important for organizations to see what is underway as more than just technological; it is about a worldview change that is reshaping industries and organizations. The next generation of digital natives is being made in the image of the web.

(2) Mobile requires your attention
According to Google, by 2013 the desktop computer will be irrelevant. The mobile device, be it an iPhone, an Android phone, an iPad, or something we have not even seen yet, will be the primary way that we do computing and interact online.

Mobile is different; unlike a desktop computer, it is always with us and available. This leads to different habits for its use. Google now estimates that 20 percent of its searches are for things that are nearby, and that percentage is even higher for searches conducted on mobile phones. According to Facebook, over 250 million users access its site via mobile device. And those that do are more active than those who access it via desktop. So what should ministries do? As a ministry, imagine that the entire world has a smart phone (like an iPhone), and will want to access information about you using it. Then plan accordingly.

(3) The “appification” revolution is underway
The number of apps available in Apple’s application (app) store now exceeds 500,000 and these apps have been downloaded over 15 billion times. According to Flurry Analytics, in June 2011, mobile users spent more time on apps than they spent online.ÊAs these apps embed themselves into our daily life, they bring changes to our behaviors. The drive to build web and mobile apps will increase as organizations seek to engage users.

The next frontier for organizations is to build mission-focused web apps. Already these apps are being developed for the church (e.g., YouVersion). As you consider an app, think about going beyond presenting information. Use apps to engage users in ways that matter to your ministry, whether it is discipleship, volunteering, or other valuable activities.

(4) We are in a post-website world
We live in a “post-website” world. The advent of social media, including the massive popularity of social networking, has changed the game. The power of social media is clearly seen in Twitter. Founded only a few short years ago in 2006, Twitter became a critical social media tool to the regime changes that recently swept the Middle East.

The primary use of the web is about becoming more relational, not informational. Our focus should be to go where the people are, not to expect that they will come to us. The question you need to answer is, How do we become integrated into the online habits of our audience? Websites are still valuable to accomplish the goals of your organization, but a website is meaningless if no one visits it.

(5) Focus on the fringe that is central to your success
Traditionally, the basic organizing principle of communications has been the pyramid, but that is changing. For example, according to Altimeter Group research, most novice organizations engage social media through a centralized person or a department. However, today, those who have the most advanced and effective strategies are more decentralized. The web allows you to flatten your organization and reduce the friction to communicate and engage people. An example of this is Compassion International, which does its best to get out of the way and connect the sponsor with children around the world. Or, which launched a peer network called Chatter to connect peers within an organization in a real time environment, removing unneeded bureaucracy to achieve results. How are you using web technology to connect and empower people at the far reaches of your organization?

(6) Research needs to drive your online strategy
Your decisions about online tools should be driven by strategy. And strategy should be driven by research. Use research to understand how your target audience uses the Internet. Do they use mobile devices? Do they prefer e-mail or a Facebook message? Forrester Research has developed Social Technographics, a way to classify people according to how they use social technologies. This helps you to determine if your customers are creators, joiners, critics, spectators, collectors, or inactive. This type of research can help you determine if your ministry should invest in certain social media sites and how to best engage your audience.

If you design your research well, you will probably find some new insights that will surprise you. For example, when David T. Bourgeois, associate professor of information systems at Biola University, worked on a project to determine the best way to reach staff members in their early- to mid-20s, his assumption was that a Facebook page and wall posts were the best solution. However, research showed that they preferred e-mail and actually did not want the organization to use wall posts.

There are several methods of research available to you. If possible, directly surveying your target group is probably the best way to understand them. Creating a well-thought out survey is not simple; if possible, I would suggest that you find a survey used by a reputable research organization and modify it as opposed to creating one yourself. Using third-party data (such as that from the Pew Internet Project or the U.S. Census) will also give you some ideas of how to reach your group. I would also recommend working with someone who has experience doing research in this area.

How can your organization prepare for the communication changes ahead? A friend of mine, ministry online technology consultant Cynthia Ware, often quotes 1 Chronicles 12:32, where “from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” As leaders we need to learn about the shift in worldview and in the technological landscape.
The first act in the story of the Internet has been the vast availability of information. We are just beginning the second half of the story – the pervasiveness of the web in every aspect of our life. This pervasiveness includes but goes beyond our mobile phones to all the things in our life, such as our cars, our living room, and even the appliances in our house. All of our life will become increasingly brought online.

These trends can be positive even though they often require changes in how your organization operates. To succeed, ministries must adjust and adapt to this new environment. For example, an increasing number of churches are exploring online worship services and are hiring digital pastors to interact with their congregation online. One large ministry built a private community site to engage users to learn, serve, donate, and increase participation, but they had to shut it down after a year because it required more community management than their staff could handle. This organization did not want to change and thus closed down the online community website. In most of our strategy work with organizations, there are changes people must consider to implement effective web strategies. Often these include making new hires, retraining staff, and letting people go as the organization’s needs change.

For many organizations, particularly established ones, there is a significant tension between maintaining the current technology and the need to innovate. But with change occurring so quickly, there is a vital need for ministries to innovate and to be willing to fail. Who is leading your organization to translate your mission, strategies, and goals into the web environment?

At Monk Development (an organization that does this for many ministries and churches), we understand this is full-time work. Most ministries have been on their own in navigating their web strategy. Our desire is to see this change. We lead the Ministry Internet and Technology Summit at the CLA National Conference, which brings together experts in technology and social media from across the ministry world. I invite you to send your teams to participate in this conference in Orlando, Florida, April 10-12, 2012 ( The summit will offer sessions on building the right social media strategy, how to increase online donations, best practices of mobile or application development, and other topics presented by thought leaders in the ministry space. In addition, each year research is conducted and presented at this summit that will enhance your ministry’s online engagement. Please plan to join us.

Second, in partnership with CLA we will launch a new CIO Forum. These forums will include peer-learning to share best practices and discuss the challenges we all face. At stake is the ministry impact we make and how we steward our limited time and resources toward things that will deliver the most value.

We as leaders need to think deeply about the transformation that technology is enabling. We should embrace change, but remember the good news that we do not have to put our hope in keeping up with the changes around us. Our hope is in Christ alone and that Jesus promised that he would build his church. Christ will guide us through, even as the transformation of communication and technology continues at an exponential pace.

Buy or Sell a home in San Diego – Imagine San Diego

Watch out world, my wife is blogging! She just put up a new blog post on Imagine San Diego (Keller Williams). Check it out: 7 Key Reasons Why NOW is the Prime Time to Buy a Home

Why use Heather as your local San Diego real estate professional? Native San Diegan, Heather Goodmanson, graduated from Chula Vista High School and San Diego State University with a B.A. in English and minors in Journalism and Spanish. With her corporate training background in the customer service industry, Heather’s strengths are in educating her clients and removing any mystery involved in their transactions.

Heather walks with you through every step of the transaction by:

Helping you connect with a recommended/priority lender for prequalification

Educating you about the local housing market and your specific neighborhood

Customizing a personal search for your new home with your specific requirements

Providing a comparative market analysis when listing your home

Negotiating the best deal possible on your behalf

Scheduling  appraisers and inspectors

Working closely with escrow to facilitate a smooth transaction

Handing you the keys to your new home!

Or, handing you the check from your sale! Relaunch, Update and Redesign

Some of you may have noticed my blog has been down (or infected with Malware) through a WordPress exploit of TimThumb an image re-sizer plugin. Well after a few days of work I’ve finally got it back and running. First thanks to a couple people/things:

1. I had to identify the TimThumb exploit and used the TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner plugin.
2. I then found that Google had Blacklisted me as a Malware site, so I installed WP-MalWatch.
3. After a couple hours of trying to remove the Malware myself, I decided to throw the towel in and use Sucuri to monitor and remove all Malware. They had it cleaned and relisted in a day.
4. Updated the design to Aggregate and themed it a bit to my liking.

And back in business!

Faith & Technology

I had the opportunity on Easter Sunday to appear on CBS Sunday Morning for a segment on Faith & Technology (link to video). The segment discussed how technology is impacting faith. CBS filmed at the Christian Web Conference, did a day of interviews and then visited Kaleo Church . In the session they filmed, the Future of the Web & Church we had a conversations on several topics related to faith & technology, including:

– Does reading the Bible in a digital format impact our spiritual development? How? Will this change for future generations of ‘digital natives’?
– To what extent can we use online tools in discipleship?
– Would Jesus be on Facebook or other social media? (Note: My position is that he would not.)
– How does our theology of presence impact the future of the church?

Overall, it was a lively conversation and we only got through the above four topics before time ran out (I had a total of 12 I wanted to hit. Ambitious). If you have not attended this conference, I highly recommend it to everyone. I’m amazed at the consistent high quality of thought-provoking conversations.

There are a number of great books now released & coming out addressing faith & tech, that I would encourage you to pick up.

1. The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion – An excellent book on examining how technology impacts our faith & how we as Christians should view it.
Product Description: Even the least technical among us are being pressed from all sides by advances in digital technology. We rely upon computers, cell phones, and the Internet for communication, commerce, and entertainment. Yet even though we live in this ‘instant message’ culture, many of us feel disconnected, and we question if all this technology is really good for our souls. In a manner that’s accessible, thoughtful, and biblical, author Tim Challies addresses questions such as: * How has life—and faith—changed now that everyone is available all the time through mobile phones? * How does our constant connection to these digital devices affect our families and our church communities? * What does it mean that almost two billion humans are connected by the Internet … with hundreds of millions more coming online each year? Providing the reader with a framework they can apply to any technology, Tim Challies explains how and why our society has become reliant on digital technology, what it means for our lives, and how it impacts the Christian faith.

Garden to City2. From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology
– A view of technology from within the Biblical story of redemption.
Product Description: Where does technology belong in the biblical story of redemption? Believers and unbelievers alike are saturated with technology, yet most give it little if any thought. Consumers buy and upgrade as fast as they can, largely unaware of technology’s subtle yet powerful influence. In a world where technology changes almost daily, many are left to wonder: Should Christians embrace all that is happening? Are there some technologies that we need to avoid? Does the Bible give us any guidance on how to use digital tools and social media?

An experienced Web developer and writer on technology and culture, John Dyer answers these questions and more by walking through the story of the Bible and introducing key ideas about how technology and culture interact. Dyer first analyzes the biblical, theological, and philosophical foundations of technology and then studies several examples that show how technology can influence the spiritual life. For youth pastors, college-aged readers, and anyone interested in understanding how technology fits with faith, From the Garden to the City fills a gap for biblically-informed literature in a technological world.

Earthen Vessels3. Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith – For the last few years, I’ve been arguing that we need to develop a theology of presence as we become more digital in our encounters and as future generations feel more connected to location & people through technology. Matt hits this topic and others in a timely book
Product Description: Our bodies matter. Christians today sometimes forget this, dangerously ignoring the importance of their physical selves when it comes to technology, sexuality, worship, and even death. Anderson’s book will help readers learn what the Bible says about our bodies and grow to appreciate the importance of embodiment in our spiritual lives. It will also explore generational differences when it comes to how we perceive and use our bodies. Just as Christ’s body was crucial to our salvation, our own bodies are an important part of the complete Christian life.

atechagoraphobia – the fear of being without technology

Six years ago I tried to get a word in the dictionary and I want to continue to use it, as I see it as more and more a part of our future. In an always-on culture with technology a part of our every moment the idea of atechagoraphobia (at one point I had termed it Technagoraphobia) is more evident. Atechagoraphobia exists as the ‘cloud’ of online services continues to grow and the persistence of online becomes the norm, people will suffer from the fear of being in “open places w/o technology”. (Example: John never would go camping with us because he was afraid of being offline from his iPhone.)

1. A morbid fear of being in open spaces without technology.

How do we live more intentionally in the hyper-connected reality we are in? What is a counter culture look like that is present in the moment.

Another word will need to be created to describe people who only feel ‘real life’ events are valid when they are posted online. Do you ever feel the urge to post something in Facebook as it’s happening rather than just experiencing the moment with those present? Yesterday I watched a football game and 5 guys (myself included) brought out our phones at times to take pictures, tweet, status update, etc. What boundaries and intentional habits do we need to create?

Jesus CellHere is a list of questions as a Christian I have to ask myself:

1. Why are you using your phone? Is it a form of escape or distraction? Are you using it for a purpose or to pass time? If so, what does that reveal about your heart?
2. Is technology and media stealing attention from your family or community? Do they get second-best treatment as you work on ‘one last update’?
3. Are you more enamored with progress and the next iPhone app? Are you astonished with the gospel?

I’ve reflected a bit on these ideas as I spoke about The World: Media & Consumerism.

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