Systems: a conversation with some leaders who are doing it

This morning Jeff and I were able to spend some time with a CEO, a CFO, and a COO discussing systems!

Some key takeaways from this conversation:

  • You have to know what you want to do and then you create systems that enable you to do that.
  • Systems are nothing without leadership. We have to make sure that we are aligning the right people with the right roles within the system.
  • Create, implement, and tweak as you go. These guys are always tweaking and making their systems more efficient.
  • Systems give us handles on the future! As we monitor our systems they give us a sense of the past and the present and from there we can make some projections about the future.
  • Evaluation and communication are two “Must-do’s” within every system! We must continually be evaluating our systems and communicating any changes we make and/or celebrating what is working! Remember this, people will do what we communicate and evaluate.
  • Only tweak a system as much as you can communicate the tweak to the organization. In other words, don’t tweak faster than you can communicate.
  • Measure, measure, measure! But as you are measuring ask yourself, “Why am I measuring what I am measuring?”  Are you measuring the right things? In a church context we might measure things like: baptisms, people in groups, attendance, giving, volunteers. As we measure these things it gives us a sense of how well we are executing our plans to achieve our mission of helping people know Jesus.
  • There are various kinds of systems. Some are static and some are dynamic. Some are pretty rigid (e.g. how the church is led) while some are always being tweaked (e.g. how we assimilate people).

And the learnings continue.

What do you know about systems? Help me!

4 thoughts on “Systems: a conversation with some leaders who are doing it

  1. You wrote:

    You have to know what you want to do and then you create systems that enable you to do that.

    That is why the vision and the mission have to come first. A system without them is going nowhere!

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