“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Peter Drucker made that statement many years ago. And it is true. You can have a great STRATEGY, but if the culture is not considered, the STRATEGY may be impotent.
So, a part of the STRATEGY, or perhaps an initial STRATEGY, may be to simply change the culture (or the effects of it). (This SYSTEM approach can work for an initial STRATEGY to be executed in order to then prepare a new SYSTEM for the longer-term.)
While Drucker’s quote is meant for organizations, it is true for the individual as well. We have probably all heard someone say, “I can’t stand this any longer. I just have to get out of here.”
That statement could be said within an organization, but it could also be said within a family, a town, etc. But making the statement means little. Sure, the statement is made from the emotion in the midst of something challenging, draining, or far less than what the person considers ideal.
But to say the statement is not what matters; a STRATEGY for “getting out of here” must be developed. And then it must be executed.
The execution of the STRATEGY is what I call a process. In one sense, the entirety of this SYSTEM is a process. Each component of the SYSTEM – the VISION, the MISSION, the STRATEGY, and the STEPS (more on this part in a moment), is to consider a process that fits together to accomplish the overall purpose – that is, the VISION.
But, to me, the word SYSTEM is sufficient to capture the big picture here. Again, each of the four components is necessary to achieve the ultimate objective. I know I have repeated myself often in this series, but it is important to understand the terminology as I am using it. You may disagree with my approach, but that’s fine. Develop your own approach. Market it if you wish. I am sharing mine here just to help those who have not yet considered how having a SYSTEM can help to achieve the goals that often just float around in our heads.
As I have mentioned previously, what I am sharing has been developed as a SYSTEM for life, but it can be easily adapted for smaller purposes (such as the example I used of taking a vacation), and it can be modified for use by a company or other kind of organization. For instance, we use this same SYSTEM approach in the church I serve.
So, once we know our WHY (the VISION, our purpose), and we develop our WHAT (the MISSION, our key functions to help achieve the VISION), and consider the HOW (the STRATEGY, which must be executed to fufill our MISSION), we must consider any aspect that is necessary to execute the STRATEGY. Again, this part is what I consider the PROCESS.
I call this part of the SYSTEM the STEPS.
For me, the STEPS are based upon (primarily) the 4Ls.* In fact, our ministry name is 4L Ministries because we want to help people (and churches) to excel at these four areas so they can function as God desires, whether or not they have a SYSTEM or what they might call it.
*A 5th L exists (and must exist), but it is not the primary focus.
The L’s are as follows: LEARN, LIVE, LOVE, LEAD, LEAVE.
For today, let me briefly define each STEP in the PROCESS. In the next few weeks, I will dive deeper into how each of the L’s fit within the overall SYSTEM.
- LEARN – More about God and how He wants me to serve Him. (Ephesians 5.1-2)
- LIVE – With a mindset on His Kingdom, not mine. (Matthew 6.33)
- LOVE – My wife and children, then others, that each might find their own place in serving God. (2 Timothy 2.2)
- LEAD – My family, then, others to serve God and make disciples by equipping them with biblically-based principles. (1 Corinthians 11.1)
- LEAVE – Satisfied that my work is done when I am called, knowing others are equipped to carry on the ministry after I am gone. (2 Timothy 4.7)
If you have been following this series, you will see overlap in my STEPS, but that is intentional. Again, I developed these ideas over a series of years and while much of my SYSTEM has been very stable for most of two decades, it was not until I added the STEPS about 7 years ago that everything fell into place.
Again, I will expand on my STEPS, and how they fit into my SYSTEM beginning next week. But I do want to remind you once again that this SYSTEM works for me. You need to find your own SYSTEM, and that may include very different terminology. That’s ok. If I defined my life by what I do, it would be to teach. I am serving God best when I am teaching. I am worshipping God best when I am teaching. I am enjoying my life most when I am teaching. Etc.
So, my entire process is built around my life of teaching which, according to the acrostic evidenced in my STRATEGY, I must L-E-A-R-N, which is also included in some way in my MISSION (grow in my knowledge and understanding), and is the first of the STEPS, because it allows for all of the others to happen.
As I have encouraged you for many weeks now, take time to consider your WHY (your ultimate objective). You must start there (see my rationale in last week’s post). Then determine WHAT must be done, and then HOW to do it. Once you have those pieces in place, you are ready for your PROCESS (your STEPS), or whatever name you may use. This week, start to consider what STEPS you might need to take. Then, when I post next week, you will be ready to tie your entire SYSTEM together as well.