I was once in a meeting in which we were discussing some changes to a particular Bible study product. One of the managers said, “We want this to be so different that no one notices.”
The room filled with oohs and aahs while I quietly pondered the ridiculousness of the statement. This was, after all, an environment in which things that made no sense often were celebrated. I struggled to grasp the image of something being insignificantly different. Don’t those two concepts cancel each other out?
Years of editing and writing Bible studies have caused me to think differently about curriculum. I came to the realization that what we’ve always done should have worked by now. However, we are in the habit of recycling, reframing, and reproducing the same old worn out ideas. Isn’t it time for us to try something new?
If you want to know where you’re heading in life, take a look at where you’ve been. Unless you change your course, your future will be a repeat of the past. I’ve said this to a lot of leaders and it has received lukewarm responses because many people in leadership positions simply refuse to do anything they’ve never tried before.
According to the Harvard Business Review, almost anyone who consistently makes the effort to think differently can think differently. So, why don’t people think differently? Sixty to eighty percent of adults find the task of thinking differently uncomfortable or exhausting. In addition, most of us grew up in a world where thinking differently was punished instead of praised. We were educated toward conformity, not individuality.
So, how can we think differently?
Innovators are simply people who have mastered the art of thinking differently. If the past doesn’t look promising, try thinking differently.
What can you do today to shake up your thinking?
Terry Hadaway is a coffee-roaster, author, and educator. You can read more of his thoughts at www.liveyourwhy.net.