The Disease Versus the Illness

When leaders of organizations ask me to come in and consult about a problem they’re experiencing, their goal is to make the organization well again. In most cases, they’re trying to understand how to make change happen, but have been shipwrecked due to multiple issues.  But in 90% of the cases, they’re only focused on a symptom of a much bigger issue, but don’t realize it.  It’s much like the difference between illness and disease.  “Disease” is a physical issue.  It’s what you see on the surface in the form of cancer, a stroke, or heart attack.  But “Illness” is the real issue you ultimately have to deal with.  It may be

Dropping the "Chevy" Name was a "Mistake" According to GM

The Wall Street Journal has revealed that apparently GM’s attempt to drop the familiar term “Chevy” for the more formal “Chevrolet” was a “poorly worded memo” and a mistake.  I’m not so sure, but I hope that’s true.  As suggested by numerous folks online, it might have been a way to generate a little buzz for a dying brand, or truthfully, a really stupid move by a car company owned by the government.  My take:

Face the Truth: Fundraising is About Older People

Everybody wants to reach “the next generation,” and I can understand that.  So when non-profits come to us for help, they want to focus on the 20-something crowd, and make sure their website is hip and cool and appeals to younger people.  But the brutal truth is – when it comes to fundraising, older folks carry the load.  Pop music belongs to the young, but trust me – giving belongs to the old.  That’s not to say we should turn off younger people, but don’t be fooled by the illusion that they

Online TV Series are Taking on Prime Time

The Wall Street Journal today reports that online TV series viewing of “webisodes” – programing produced specifically for the web, is now being watching in prime time.  Traditionally, online contect has been primarily viewed during the day – mostly at work or by college students.  But now, numerous online sources such as Blip.TV are reporting serious gains in evening viewing hours.  Does that mean that online programming is finally starting to move into traditional network TV programs?  We’ve long known that

Is Increased IRS Scrutiny of Small Charities Harmful?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed piece that could be alarming: The IRS Cracks Down on Small Charities: The Government Has No Business Deciding What Causes Are Worthy of Support, by Suzanne Garment & Leslie Lenkowsky (both of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University).  Essentially, the IRS is taking steps to revoke the tax status of many of the smallest charities in the United States.  The piece reported that:

To Change Your Organization, Look to the Outside

There’s a reason most companies and non-profits look for outside help when it comes to making major changes.  It’s simply very difficult and often impossible to spawn new thinking in-house.  As a result, leaders often bring in outside ideas and advice to spur change inside.  That’s not to demean the value of your in-house ideas or creativity.  The issue is perspective.  In fact, here’s a few key reasons that making real change happen usually takes an outsider:

The Jesus Manifesto


I rarely recommend books on this blog, because that’s not what it’s about.  But I had the opportunity to read an early galley of “Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ” by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet, and this is a rare book that’s worth discussing.  It’s on special discount from and I highly recommend it. You can learn more by going to, and at the time I write this it’s #8 out of all books.  It’s endorsed by people like Calvin Miller, Jack Hayford, Shane Claiborne, Ed Stetzer, Reggie McNeal, Mark Batterson, Gregory Boyd, Sally Morgenthaler, and others.  Get it.  Re-think what you know about Jesus.

Successfully Transitioning to a Second Generation Leader

I believe Christian media is facing the greatest generational transition in the history of our industry. For the most part, the first generation pioneers like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Robert Schuller, Pat Robertson, Paul Crouch, and others, have either passed away, retired, or aren’t as intensely involved in their ministries as they used to be. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in numerous transitions from a variety of first generation to second generation leaders. Those transitions run the gamut from