Have you ever spent time in seemingly unending meetings? Meetings where the collaboration among departments or team members felt limited to the opinion of the heavy hitters and usually prove little long-term value, but plenty of short-term frustration? When you end up frustrated because the “collaboration” is poorly facilitated, what can you do? These 5 Strategies for Effective Collaboration are a good place to start.
1. Train Your Team for the Future
Not all those that begin as a part of a church plant team will remain for the entire process. However, those that do stick with you are the ones you should invest in the most. Train them in the culture, vision, mission, and best practices of your movement. Today's volunteers could very well be tomorrow's staff so treat them as such. Don't train them for today's problems but for those of the future.
[bctt tweet="Don’t train your staff for today’s problems, train them for those of the future." #leadership username="kellystickel"]
2. Create A Culture of Change
As the church grows, the systems that once worked become less and less effective. When this occurs, a change must be made. This could be removing people from their position or moving them into another position. If you create a culture of change, your leaders will embrace it and look forward to mixing things up. Don't train someone for just one role; train them to be a leader that could take on any role or department. We want leaders, not specialists. I have found that shifting leaders around can often have huge benefits for the organization as a whole. Fresh ideas are expressed and renewed energy breathes new life into that department.
[bctt tweet="Train leaders, not specialists." #leadership username="kellystickel"]
3. Establish a Clear Why
Sometimes organizations or churches try to coordinate an event for the common good of their community. The players come together initially but further into the project, they back out or become distracted by their obligations at their home base. Sometimes, it ends with the event becoming a one-person show. Where did it go wrong?
In my opinion, it’s all about the “why” of the event. The stronger and clearer the why, the stronger the buy-in from those participating. There has to be a clear-cut benefit for the whole, not just for one or two participants. The why is often connected to the benefits and the benefits are most keenly understood by those who originally birthed the idea for the event. In the end, they are usually the ones committed to seeing it through. But if they have the ability to clearly communicate the benefits of the event to everyone involved, everyone is more likely to remain until completion.
4. Know Your Team Strengths
There are so many tools out there to help leaders find the right people for their team. I’d recommend personality tests like 16 Personalities (which is a Meyers-Briggs test), the Strengths Finder test or DISC tests to discover people’s natural tendencies. Without such tools, leaders are left with only their instincts to determine where best to place team member. But don't be afraid to experiment. If someone is not fit for a position, don’t be afraid to move them to a different one until you find their perfect spot—both for them and for the team as a whole.
5. Invest in Your Leaders
The collaboration of talents, experience and vision is vital to the mission of most organizations. We must follow the example of Jesus. He modelled it best for us. He both invested in His leaders, training the 12 intensely for three years, while at the same time remained true to the gospel by ministering to those who had need. I think we can do the same. We can best train our future leaders by involving them as participants in today’s ministry. We have to keep raising leaders and we have to stay true to the mandate of the gospel because the church is the hope of the world and we’re on a mission to reach every available person at every available time by every available means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.
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