Church Software • Problem-Solving • Brain Stretches: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Church Software • Problem-Solving • Brain Stretches: Management Roundup

1. The key to selecting church software. “Key to operating efficiently, Nick Nicholaou said, is software that is comprehensive and standardized. Comprehensive software means that one package does most of the tasks an office needs—so there are fewer shortcuts and techniques to learn—and standardization means that all of a church's employees can share files among each other without spending time reformatting information from, say, a Pages document (an Apple product) to Microsoft Word. With those big picture goals in mind, churches have several options available as they seek out software for financial bookkeeping, church ministry coordination, and other tasks” (“Software: Choose Wisely,” by Ruth Moon, Church Finance Today).

2. One way to solve more problems at your church. “Effective leaders keep meetings from descending into gripe sessions. The way to do that, when working on problems, is to constantly guide the conversation towards answers. And never allow it to be about blame. And while we’re at it, I highly recommend ditching the popular ‘don’t raise a problem unless you have a solution’ rule. That’s often why a lot of important issues never get raised. Besides, if someone already has a solution, why are we having the meeting?” (“12 Simple Steps for More Effective Small Church Planning,” by Karl Vaters, LeadershipJournal.net).

3. Feedback feeds employee engagement. “According to a study from OfficeVibe:

  • 98 percent of employees will fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback;
  • 65 percent of employees want more feedback;
  • 43 percent of highly engaged employees receive feedback once a week”

(“Statistics on the Importance of Employee Feedback,” by Jeff Fermin, officevibe.com).

4. Structured debates can break complacency. “(A)void the dangers of “groupthink”—teams or organizations operating on autopilot—by holding frequent, structured debates. For a regular team meeting or an offsite, set up a debate with scenarios. … Ask half the team to argue (one side), and the other half to argue (the other). Debates like this can help overcome people’s reluctance to ask and answer tough questions about how the world has changed or is changing, and how the organization needs to evolve accordingly ”How Structured Debate Helps Your Team Grow,” by Ben Dattner, hbr.org).

5. Stretch your brain to stretch your work. “Stretching is important—for the body and the brain. So how do you ‘stretch’ your brain muscles? Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at MIT, recommends using areas of your brain that you don't frequently use. This can involve learning just a little bit of a new language or taking a lesson or two with a new instrument. Even practicing juggling is a cerebral exercise that can help improve cognition. The key, according to Shelley Carson, author of Your Creative Brain, is to keep mixing it up by trying new things” (“3 Simple Brain Tricks to Keep Your Mind in Shape,” Graham Winfrey, inc.com).

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