October 18, 2008

Attention Whiteboard Addicts!

This book by Dan Roam is a fascinating read- in several hours he stretched my thinking about how people think and communicate. With a practical bent and witty style, Roam walks through how we digest the world visually and how this understanding can transform communication- from problem solving to boiling down complex ideas. The best part of the book is how Roam models the concept on each page with helpful and inspiring pictures all the way through.

I highly recommend this book to any leader or teacher, and especially anyone addicted to whiteboard like me. I have a notebook full of whiteboard drawings I use when I consult. This book messed with my mind by forcing me to reevaluate each one. Here is an example:

On page 211 of Church Unique, I show the “attunement grid”. This tool is designed to help leaders identify four kinds of people in church based on a person’s ability to see the vision and their willingness to contribute. Its uses a voyage metaphor yielding the four types as stowaways, passengers, crew, and pirates. I have always drawn this grid with words, but Roam would prefer I use picture. What do you think?

Abby, my nine year old is a wonderful drawing consultant!


October 16, 2008

Born to be Visionary

I read a simple observation this week that continues to haunt me: Walk into a first grade classroom and ask the kids to raise their hand if they can draw. All of the kids will raise their hand. Ask if they can sing. All of the kids raise their hand. Ask if they can dance. All of the kids raise their hand. Ask them if they can read and only some will raise their hand. Now do the same exercise with a ninth grade classroom. The results are opposite- the only time they all raise their hands is when asked about reading.

Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. Where does our extreme capacity for imagination go?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Eph 3:20.

October 12, 2008

Savvy Guerilla Marketing


While many forms of advertising may be less effective today there are forms that appeal to young consumers. One book that discusses this is Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, by Rob Walker. According to Andrew O’Connell of HBR, the key is to “emphasize meaning first, functionality second; remember that people simultaneously want to feel like individuals, and be a part of something bigger than themselves”

At CATALYST last week, the Auxano team designed a strategy to give away hundreds of copies of Church Unique, by creating a memorable experience as part of the giveaway. First we blanketed the conference environment with little business cards that said “BUZZ” on one side with a message on the other: text “catalyst-buzz” to a 95495 (our 5 digit short code). T-shirts were given away with the same message. When people texted the number on their cell, an immediate reply via text told them where they could get a FREE COPY of the book that’s creating all of the BUZZ. Once they got the book, recipients would then wear a big round sticker that said, “I caught the catalyst buzz.” We created meaning with a combination of intrigue- an unexpected yet interactive impression, that was both individual (personal touch with me and our team) and big (co-branded with the large event) as we distributed the most valuable mass giveaway of the conference.

October 9, 2008

Just Announced- The CATALYST BUZZ

If you are at the catalyst conference now, text "catalyst-buzz" to 95495 to hear all about it.

October 6, 2008

Hurricane Clarity

Weeks after IKE has wreaked havoc in Houston, I continue to reflect on the amazing phenomenon of clarity. People so long for clarity that an event like an impending hurricane actually creates a unique energy, focus, and even pleasure for people. I watched neighbors who generally don’t express passion or purpose in any vector of life, suddenly become filled with both. It is actually pleasurable to know that you are right where you need to be, doing exactly what you should be doing, even when there is a looming threat. Think about it. For a couple of days before IKE hit, people had 100% clarity and a total distraction-less life.

Shouldn’t everyday hint of the benefits of this kind of clarity?