Remove Risk, and You Remove Great Performance

We hear a lot about “safe spaces” today, but the desire to avoid risk in life is found just about everywhere.  For university faculty members, “tenure” usually refers to job security.  Essentially, it’s about a senior professor’s contractual right not to be fired without just cause.  More directly, it’s a guarantee that a teacher won’t be fired for speaking out or teaching controversial ideas.  Essentially, the core values of tenure are academic freedom, and it’s supposed to give teachers an incentive to stretch their thinking.  However,

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Practical Creativity: Shaking Things Up on a Budget and Deadline

You can be as creative as you want to be if you’re sitting on your back porch painting watercolors, or writing your own book. But if you’re using your creativity in the service of others, or a great cause or bigger purpose, you’ll soon be bumping up against two big issues: budgets and deadlines. As foot soldiers of creativity, we like to

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Camille Pissarro: A Painter Who Changed the Way We See

I was thinking recently about the differences between an “artist” and a “artisan.” An artisan is good at what he or she does. They’re gifted and often brilliant. But an “artist” changes the conversation. They force us to see or do something in a different way, forever altering our view of the world. A few years ago, Kathleen and I were in Milwaukee visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum. (Great museum by the way). They were

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Five Church Outreach Ideas for Cinco de Mayo

It's Time to Get Serious About Reaching the Spanish Speaking Community

The annual Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebration could be a great opportunity to draw the attention of the Hispanic community to the Gospel. So I asked my friend Ivan Leon, Founder & Chief Strategist of the Kerux Group who develops trend analysis, cultural insights, and best practices for reaching the Hispanic audience to share some ideas for how churches can reach this growing community:

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Creatives: Should You Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

NDA’s or “Non-Disclosure Agreements” float around the entertainment and media business a lot, and they’re primarily used to keep ideas confidential. Film studios often use them to make sure you don’t steal their ideas or methods, and some production companies won’t take a meeting with you unless you sign one. As a result, some less experienced writers and producers also try to get people to sign before they share a movie concept, screenplay, or other creative idea. The question is:

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Flash Marketing – How New Restaurants (and Churches) Get Noticed

I was speaking at a pastor’s conference recently and a pastor from Miami had a great question: “How do certain trendy restaurants open up and become what seems to be an instant success? Almost immediately, celebrities are standing in line to get in the door. How do they do that?” He wondered if the same techniques could be applied to a local church plant. In other words, how could we accelerate awareness for a new church or location? So I asked some experts in marketing to check their response. Their answers were wide ranging and interesting. Here’s what they had to say, and then I’ll give you a few thoughts at the end:

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Leaders: What You Should Know About Your Team

Whenever I consult with a church, ministry, or nonprofit, I always begin by looking closely at the team. The employees are the ones that make an organization work, so learning as much as we can about them is critical – and I’m often surprised at how little pastors and other leaders actually know about the personal side of their team. If you’re not taking the time to know your people well, you’re shortchanging your vision. Having studied teams over the years, here’s a starting list of issues leaders need to know about their teams:

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