How To Spark Team Conversation and Gain Organizational Clarity

I’ve shared my 10 tips for your next staff off-site with you before. Well, it’s that time of year again when I’m preparing for the next off-site with our Mission Church staff. We do ours three times a year in January, May and September.

I always find that simply jarring the conversation loose can be the most difficult part of any off-site. Once the conversation is rolling, the core problems and key solutions come into focus.

Today, I want to share with you a powerful tool that can be used to frame up, perhaps, your entire off-site. It’s called The Four Helpful Lists, and it’s a tool I learned in my StratOp Certification Training. Here it is...

1. What Is Right?

In the first column, write What Is Right? It’s great to start with the good news. What is wrong tends to shout at us, but we move past the things that are working without noticing. Make a long list about what is right about your church. Also, you’ll tend to be more honest with the following questions when you start with this question.

2. What Is Wrong?

In the next column, write What Is Wrong? In this section, you are looking for hard evidence. (If you don’t have hard evidence, it probably belongs in the next column.) The customer/church participant may be telling you or suggesting to you: “Stop it!” If so, it’s wrong.

3. What Is Confused?

Next column, write What Is Confused? I have found that when teams debate about whether is something is wrong or confused, then the debate itself is evidence - it’s confused. If it’s confused, it’s because it exists without the clarity to be effective.

4. What Is Missing?

Next column, write What Is Missing? This is a void. It’s not right, wrong or confused - it’s just missing. This will take persistence to name missing items. After all, this is why they are missing - they aren’t at the forefront of your thinking. @@Opportunity is seen when we bring a void into our vision.@@ 

5. Core Issues

Finally, in the last column, we need to find the Core Issues. I like to call this isolating the core. Most often, this exercise will reveal core issues. It may be in communication, systems, structure, personnel, strategy or any number of things. 

In the Church, our ministry season is coming to a close. This is the ideal time to answer these four questions. It leaves you the summer to strategize, and in the fall you’ll be ready to execute!

How are you planning to strategize with your team this summer? Could you use some help?

  1. Join me May 16 for a free webinar to gain clarity on your Mission, Vision, Values and Strategy.
  2. Check out my strategic coaching program designed especially for church leadership teams.