Free Replay 10/7

If you weren’t lucky enough to score a ticket to the ThatChurch Conference in Atlanta last month, they are replaying sessions **FOR FREE** on Monday & Tuesday.

Be sure to check it out: https://live.thatcc.com/?sc=TXWatiZ9&ac=HPdzOwKG

ThatChurch Conference Notes

 

First, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to today’s session! As promised, here is a link to view the notes so we can all make the world a better place and save a few trees in the process.

If you have questions, or want help thinking about how to level up your current website, feel free to reach out: dnicole (at) AspireOne (dot) com

Are We Who We Say We Are?

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The whole idea of branding can be confusing for a lot of smart people. And it’s easy to see why with all of the different definitions floating around—is it what other people say you are? Is it your logo? Or the website & other promotional channels?

The simplest way to wrap our minds around this is to think of it as a promise we’re making of what to expect, and how well we consistently deliver on that promise.

This all comes down to the EXPERIENCE we’re offering. Are we who we say we are?

When we think of it as a promise, we’re in control—we manage the expectations and experience of that promise. If we allow others to define who we are, we’re constantly in a reaction mode.

This goes beyond what we say in bulletins, brochures, & billboards to what we actually do.

Everything else is just a channel for delivering on that promise.

The Price of Free


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It can be tempting to chase after “free” opportunities

  • A volunteer is willing to start a new ministry idea
  • An organization is offering to sponsor an initiative on your behalf
  • Someone is willing to include your ad on their website, magazine or newsletter
  • A partner wants to send a summer intern/assistant/extra-hands-and-feet-to-do-work-for-you

Sounds great, right? I mean, who doesn’t like free?

Before jumping on board, remember everything has a price. Sometimes it’s actual, physical dollars & cents. Other times it’s time. Or relationships. Or how much it impacts your brand or reputation.

So be sure to ask first:

  • Is the timing right for this opportunity?
  • What will it really cost?
  • Will it ultimately help accomplish what we’re supposed to do?

“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”

The Dangers of Prioritizing Tools Over Training

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Recently, I read an article about how United Airlines plan to improve its connection to passengers through technology… primarily mobile.

United has been my go-to airline for the past 13 years. The vast majority of my work has been here in the states, so to achieve Gold status—living in the middle of the country, no less—is no easy feat. I’ve had A LOT of experience with gate agents, customer service reps, & flight attendants. Some were good, most weren’t.

Technology isn’t going to help in the way they’re hoping. People are. 

People who act like they care. That my problem matters to them & they’re willing to do whatever is within their power to help.

Technology (at best) is just an extension of the customer experience. Not the foundation of it.

Instead of investing in tech, invest in service training. Or better yet, in hiring & recruiting strategies that attract people who actually do care in the first place.

Whether in the marketplace or in ministry, the very people we’re hoping to serve get shortchanged when we elevate tools over training. Every. Time.

The Keys to Communicating Change

“I just don’t get it,” he sighed. “I feel like I’ve been repeating the same thing for months until I’m blue in the face. Why aren’t people getting on board with the new vision?”

Many of the leaders I work with are in the midst of leading through change. Some big, some small, but all with their own unique challenges. 
I’ve found there are three common denominators why people tend to resist change and what we can do about it. 

I wrote a post for Catalyst that talks more about this that published today & I’d love to hear your thoughts.  

Three Ingredients for Leading Change

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It’s a fact. Change happens. If it’s not here already, it’s probably right around the corner.

Most of the leaders we partner with are either smack in the middle of a significant change or are getting ready to tackle one. Whether it’s a complete overhaul of the brand, restructuring the communications team, spiffing up the website or just making a few tweaks, there are a few right ways—and many, many, wrong ways—to lead through change.

Regardless of how big or small whatever is about to take place, I’ve found there’s three key ingredients to help things go as smoothly as possible. Continue reading “Three Ingredients for Leading Change”

RFP Questions to Ask

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1) How would you help us solve this problem?

2) Who else have you helped?

3) What will it take to get us there? (time, budget, resources)

That’s it.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand where a Request for Proposal comes from and the purpose it can serve. But oftentimes an organization believes it needs to know HOW to solve the problem when creating the RFP and subsequently compares costs against executing that solution.

But it doesn’t matter which car we drive if we’re headed in the wrong direction. Don’t feel the pressure to figure out the how—That’s a big part of what you’re paying for.

Instead, tell them what needs to be fixed and look for a team that truly seeks to understand your needs, your culture and has the experience to back them up. Chances are high the proposed solution may not be what you expect but you’ll be delighted with the results.

The Price of Being a Sheep

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I love this piece by Hugh MacLeod, as it seems so relative—especially in the world of ministries.

It’s easy to follow the crowd. To imitate what everyone else is doing. To want a website/logo/outreach program/fill-in-the-blank just like Big Name Ministry has.
(Side note: If I see one more website—or get one more request—for a website that looks just like Hillsong’s, I’m going to poke my eyes out with pencils)

But I believe the price of being a sheep is much steeper than mere boredom.
We’re robbing the world of what it is we’re uniquely wired to offer.

Don’t get me wrong. I love getting inspired by others who’ve gone before me and look for ways to build upon those ideas to make them my own. But as my friend Mark Batterson has so eloquently put it, “When inspiration stops short & becomes imitation, it’s suicide.”

Discovering your purpose and braving new trails is hard. It takes work, and yes, it can be very lonely. But I think the reward is worth it.