what works today may not work tomorrow

OK, I promise this is the last post about 37signals.com’s values, mostly because it is their last value…long-term contracts are obscene.  Check this out:

No one likes being locked into something they don’t want anymore. Our customers can cancel at any time, no questions asked. No setup/termination fees either.

5553480697_bc32ed241b_bWhile those of us involved in the technical arts in the local church don’t really deal with contracts in the same way, I love the heart behind this value.  It doesn’t make any sense to develop a system or a process or a product, and then make people use it, even when it ceases to meet the needs of the moment.

As the person that needs to figure out how to get ideas turned into actual things, it can be really easy to want to lock in that idea early, so that I can have time to get it done.  Over the years, I have gotten so attached to something I have been working on, that I will hang on to it even after it has ceased to be useful.

Whether it is a meeting schedule or a process for getting ideas brainstormed or how our production meetings are structured, I have noticed that it is very easy to get attached to these things.  Not because they are useful anymore, but because that is how we do things.  This gets us into having a “contract” that we’ve locked our “customers” into, even though it doesn’t serve their current needs anymore.

We always do it that way. 

Does anyone know why we do that?  Is it time to re-examine some of the “givens” that we have been working under?  It might turn out that there are great reasons for some of what we do.  It might also uncover the fact that we have a process that is outdated and needs to be re-imagined.

At the baseline, production exists in the local church to support the ideas of the service creators.  Are we set up to support these ideas or are we set up to support the ideas of another era?

If our processes and “contracts” aren’t what people need any more, why still doing them?  When was the last time you looked at how you are doing things and really evaluated their effectiveness?


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