Football has started, kids are in school, and fall is in full swing. Of course the reality of Young Life is that “fall” is in full swing by mid-August. Here at the “beginning” of the year I’d like to offer a few thoughts, things that might make your year more productive.
An idea that has captivated me recently: Kaizen (the term means small continuous improvements).
Small adjustments can make a BIG impact:
Here’s the effect of a one-degree change in a flight plan:
After 100 yards, you'll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
After a mile, you'll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you'll be off by 6 miles.
If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you'd end up on the other side of Baltimore: 42.6 miles away.
Traveling around the globe from Washington, D.C., you'd miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston!
Sometimes this is called “1 Percent Improvement.” Over time, 1 percent can make a big difference. The question is: WHAT 1 percent are you going to focus on? What small thing could make a big difference for your area, committee or club next year? What would produce the greatest impact if you focused your energies on a few critical small changes*, and didn’t get distracted by the hundred loose ends tugging on you daily?
*Notice I didn’t say “easy changes,” (they never are), and you have to stay with them doggedly to get the benefit.
ACTION STEP: What if next year … ?
You spent more time planning committee (or club) meetings and always finished on time?
Every adult meeting started with a great devotional, a kid sharing, or a leader giving a ministry update?
A group of adults prayed for club every week?
You identified the 10 most important donor relationships for the area and did a great job thanking them and keeping them informed?
You identified the three critical things that would make your area/club better and focused on that till it happened?
You get the idea. I don’t know what your 1 percenters are, but you do. Think about it. It’s worth it.
A lot of people are focused on football right now, but I’m thinking, what will be the few “1 percenters” that will be my highest priority this year?
— Written by John Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org )