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3 Ways Leaders Reinvent Their World

As you think about your childhood, can you remember going by car to some exciting destination?  Okay, maybe it wasn’t exciting, but you were in the car and you asked the question that kids have been asking since Henry Ford produced the Model T – “Are we there yet?”
Now, many years later, serving in a position of leadership, I understand the answer to that question is disconcerting to some.  Leaders understand… We’ll never get there.  The third practice of great leaders is their desire and ability to Reinvent Continuously.
You may be asking, “Reinvent what?”  That’s a fair question.  We generally talk about reinvention in three arenas:
Self – The best leaders are always reinventing themselves.  We must work diligently to stay current and relevant.  We must always be learning and growing to meet the ever changing demands of the people and the organization we serve.
Systems – The results you are getting today are the result of the systems and work processes you currently have in place.  If you want different results, chances are good the system or work process will have to change.  Some leaders “hope” things will get better.  Hope is a wonderful thing – however, it is not a strategy for improvement.
Structure – Structure should enable, not inhibit the accomplishment of the work at hand.  Structure should change with the needs of the enterprise.  When the work has become very difficult or things aren’t being done with excellence, one of the things to explore is the structure.  The right structure won’t necessarily make things easy, but it should make it easier to get the work done.
The big idea behind Reinvent Continuously is this:  Progress is always preceded by change.
What do you need to Reinvent?

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Chris Patton

10 years ago

Love the blog and you guys always have great insights! Could you explain a little more on the difference in systems and structures?


10 years ago

Thanks for your question. I plan to do a post or two on this in the near future. However, here’s a short answer… Systems is the way the work actually gets done – you can think of it as the steps in the process. The Structure is how you’re organized to execute the steps. A quick example: the system for processing visitors to your church could include – guests fill out a card, hand it in to someone, someone else scans the card or inputs the data, reports are generated and distributed to key staff members who determine appropriate next steps. These steps represent the system for processing visitors but they do not speak to the structure for accomplishing the task. Structural options could include: creating a team of volunteers to do the work; a team of paid staff to do the same; a combination of staff and volunteers; or one person could be charged with this accountability. I hope this helps. As I said, I’ll write more about this in the future. Thanks again for your question!

Bob Tiede

10 years ago

Reminds me of a quote I once heard: “Every organizational process is perfectly designed for the results in produces!” If you don’t like those results, then you will need to change the process!

Chris Patton

10 years ago

Got it, makes sense.
I look forward to your future posts on the subject.

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9 years ago

[…] Three Ways Leaders Reinvent Their World.  Mark Miller.  Progress is always preceded by change. […]


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