07 Dec

Global Leadership Summit 2012 – The Generations

Craig Groshel is the founder and senior pastor of lifechurch.tv, a thriving multimedia multi-site church. One of their products is youversion, the Bible app for mobile phones, tablets and computers. It is an exciting product for me, because there are plans afoot to get all the translations of the Bible in Nigeria (and the rest of the world) on there. Cool, hey? Great chance to hear from the guy who started it up.

I was looking forward to a talk about how to use technology to engage your team and enthuse people, but no – Paul a middle-aged man was going to talk about working across the generations. He turned out to be a great presenter, and I’d love to read some of his other materials.

To the older generation:
(He defined older – “If you need to ask the question, you are probably older.”)

If you are not dead, you are not done.
A motto many people in our org have lived by! His point was that maybe retiring from full-time ministry is appropriate, but you are never done leading people, never done influencing people, never done training people, never done mentoring people. If you aren’t dead, you aren’t done.

Don’t delegate tasks, delegate authority.
Delegating tasks will get jobs done and will create followers. Delegating authority will get jobs done, probably not the way you would do them, but it will create leaders. Invest in those behind you, they can do more than you did.

Authenticity trumps cool.
The younger generation isn’t bothered about cool – what they want is real. Don’t pretend to be something you are not, thinking that is going to solidify the relationship. You have to be authentic.

To the young ones:

You NEED those who have gone before you.
You can learn from them, avoid their mistakes, you can do more than they did. Get over your sense of entitlement. It isn’t your fault, it is what has been programmed into you by those who went before, but get over it! Because it will limit others’ ability to invest in you.

Honour those who have gone before you, and those who are over you.
Honour builds trust, it adds value and it builds up. Public honour allows private influence. Respect is earned by honour given.  Be intentional with giving honour, it needs to be above and beyond the normal expectation.

To both:

Create ongoing feedback loops.
Learn to listen to each other and learn to explore together.

Create specific mentoring moments.
If you aren’t deliberate about it, they will get pushed back and eventually never happen. If you are intentional about it, it will happen, it will create momentum and you will both benefit more from the session together.

13 Dec

Scripture in mission

We live in an ever-changing world and I LOVE technology and I love seeing how things change and adapt and I am often surprised by how far behind the rest of the technological world, mission agencies can be. Not all parts of every mission agency are in the dark ages by any means! One example is Wycliffe and it’s partners helping to provide scripture on mobile phones and listening devices. Freddie Boswell (The Executive director of SIL international, SIL is one of Wycliffe’s partners in Bible Translation) was one of the many delegates at the recent Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, and he participated in a cool sketch designed to challenge the mindset that it is “all about the printed word”

22 Apr

The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500

Gary Hamel from the wall street Journey has written an excellent post on the shape of management in the future.   His approach is to recognise that people joing companies now, are those that have never known a time where there was no Internet or Email.  they have always lived life online.   The result is different expectations of a working environment.

I half live in that world.  I often find myself frustrated with “the process”, I am VERY lucky to have a boss who understands that i get frustrated adn need to thrash it out.  He is also great at NOT giving me answers!

Any way Gary has compiled a list of 12 observations about web life, and not all of them are relevant to assessing future management, but all are true, and could help shape the way we think and act, and how we develop our working environments and how we recruit .. and how we hold meetings … the list is pretty endless …

My favourite bits

2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
When you post a video to YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school. When you write a blog, no one cares whether you have a journalism degree. Position, title, and academic degrees—none of the usual status differentiators carry much weight online. On the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute.

How do we perceive people and how do we make the decisions about their inclusion in meetings/decision making.  Is it their credentials or is it simply because they have something they can contribute?  Dare i say i work for quite an academic organisation, i am forever finding myself frustrated about the message we give our.  “you can do programme X  if you have a 2.1 degree”  .  I understand some programmes are not suitable to everyone, but what are we doing about finding a valid contribution for everyone?   YouTube has done an amazing thing for armature videography, yes there is some BAD stuff up there, but it has also reduced our expectations of corporate productions.  it doesn’t have to be the perfect edit, or the perfect soundtrack, as long as the content is good, people will watch it!  how can we transfer that theory to other areas?

8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
The Web is also a gift economy. To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and content. And you must do it quickly; if you don’t, someone else will beat you to the punch—and garner the credit that might have been yours. Online, there are a lot of incentives to share, and few incentives to hoard.

I think many of us still live in the “Information is power so we must control it” age.    The Internet chucks that theory out the window.  We are naive to think we can control information any more. Open source software has experienced a massive explosion, you probably use some without even knowing it, all because people are prepared to share information.

Enough of me,  See full post here.

HT to Steph Angus .. who doesn’t even have a blog … but i think she should!

26 Aug

I read a BOOK!!!

It is Very Very rare that I bother picking up a book, my preferences are things that will provide much amusement (Tabloid Bible), or trying to understand people better (When generations collide), occasional a biography especially if it is a testimony of someone seeing God at work in their lives. Whilst at Soul Survivor I had the great privilege of getting to know a chap by the name of John Robinson. The first contact i had with him was having to ask him to move his chairs from our area so we could get set up. Unlike previous exhibitions we have been at, he was very polite apologized that all their lounging around and slowly shifted the chairs and stuff! We had some great times, Singing annoying songs to each other from the main meetings, I nicked his spot lights (1 x 500w flood lights!) He called a medic for me, I stole his phone and sung that annoying song as his ring tone, which finally played when John was in Tesco with his bags full of shopping. He got the whole tool shed to sing happy 55th Birthday to me over the PA system, we moved his entire display on the last night to on top of a wall in the corner, manging to extent our display all over his patch! Haha, we had a GREAT time. He was also part of the prayer ministry team in the main meetings.

Along the way, I discovered his tattooing gang based history, amazed by what God had done in him I loved joking with him even more! 1 VERY slow afternoon I started to read one of the books on his stall I discovered it was a book he had written about his life. Well at the time I only read the first half chapter then the book was lent to someone else. I eventually bought the book, and i just read it in an afternoon, man an addictive read, i genuinely couldn’t put it down!

Nobody’s Child is Johns book written whilst he was running the bus ministry for the message trust in Manchester. An Easy read, which suits me, but an AMAZING testimony of God at work. John was in and out of children’s homes and eventually in and out of Jail, and a failed marriage, but in amongst all of that God was calling him all the time. My favourite quote is in the last chapter when he was reading all his childhood notes, and he says he remembers speaking to one of the Psychiatrists, who said

I am at a loss as to how i can help you, I’ve never met someone who has suffered so much rejection and abuse who hasn’t managed to kill themselves.

Go read the book hear more about what God has done!

06 Dec

Digital Native vs Digital Imigrants.

Had a fascinating chat to my Dad last night and he mentioned this idea of Digital natives vs Digital immigrants.

wikipedia define it like this.

A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3. A digital immigrant is an individual who grew up without digital technology and adopted it later. A digital native might refer to their new “camera”; a digital immigrant might refer to their new “digital camera”.


Not saying that everyone born after 1982 is a computer genius, and no-one old has a clue, in fact the digital world was created by apparent immigrants, so how much truth is there actually in that idea?

I think there has to be SOME truth in it, the kids of the 90s do have a different mind set. Encyclopedia Britannica is going out of business because no-one needs to have a bunch of books to look things up any more. You have a thesaurus, a calculator, a dictionary, currency converter and measurement converter all on your home page without realising it. A government petition doesn’t mean going down to London any more. Log on anywhere in the world and sign the petition for what ever takes your fancy. (My latest was to give a refund to the people who were at uni 98 – 04 who were done out of grants, and have to pay interest on their loans)

I heard someone complaining about how young people never relate to each other any more, all they do is sit on the computer. But for many people that IS relating, just not maybe how it was done 20 or more years ago. The idea that people can comment on your blog for the whole world to see is a bit scary. Image a news paper reporter who published EVERY response to an article. For starters we could be there for a year just reading the result of 1 column, but it also has a HUGE impact on vulnerability. When you post on a blog you do make yourself vulnerable to the whole world. But there is also a measure of self regulation. If someone was gong to respond to this post, they will probably use nicer language, and a more positive argument simply because the whole world is able to read what they wrote.

For the digital native (I probably am one even if a couple years old) it is interesting trying to work with digital immigrants. We run a few websites and facebook groups and myspace and youtube stuff, sometimes trying to explain why we need to put stuff up there is hard! Personally I find, some people get it and some people don’t.

Fascinating. So what about digital immigrants who are trying to build international computer systems that natives are going to be using? How do we work cross-culturally when designing and developing systems? Do we realise that the two groups are actually looking at this form two different angles? The web is no longer a place to share information, it is a part of life. Shopping dating, social integration, game playing Christmas shopping, insurance, auctions, cars houses, pets, children (not auctioning them!) health care!! Digital is no longer PART of life. For many of us, it IS life.

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