the tightrope

Playing violin while tightrope walking, impressive!

photo credit: simononly

During this Easter season, I have been wrestling long and hard about what matters more: process or product…again. This time, from a different angle.

Do I push the process and as a result making it less ideal, so that the product can be better?

To me, the process is something we set up as the ideal situation, something to shoot for.  We should then be flexible based on the needs of the moment. If I know that something could be better, but we would have to tweak the process, why wouldn’t we do it, regardless of the process we have set up? On the other hand, the stress and extra work that comes from throwing the process to the side, might not be worth the benefits of the final product.

So do I stick with a product that is potentially less than ideal so that the process can be ideal? Or do I push on the process to make the product better? I don’t know.

I was talking to a group of leaders at Willow Creek the other day and I posed the question of which is more important, process or product. Their response was classic. The answer was there is no right answer (thanks for nothing). They are both important, and it is the job of a leader to make decisions based on the unique circumstance of each case.  The balancing act between process and product will never go away. It is my job to walk the tightrope all the time, to determine when the process is the most important or when product wins out.

When I signed up for being a production leader at a church, I had no idea that it would involve walking a tightrope every day, but that is what I am called to do. I have been learning it is key for both process and product people to know that I value both and am committed to the tightrope walk.

If you are walking the tightrope everyday, and wondering if one thing matters more than another, take heart; you are not the only one.  It is the role of a technical arts leader to keep up the balancing act.