Results. Everyone talks about results. Bosses, doctors, educators, parents and company presidents want results. Why? Because we know that the result of a thing determines its success or failure. Webster defines result as, “To end in a given way; the consequence or outcome of an action.” We’ve become a data-driven, number-crunching, death-by PowerPoint culture. We need the bottom-line—compared with last quarter’s bottom-line, of course. Technology has in many ways, both empowered and enslaved us. It’s brought layers and layers of visibility to our work, or results.
But you know a quick jog through God’s Word and you’ll discover that He’s a God of results. He’s a God of measurement, too. “Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed out the mountains and the hills?” (Isaiah 40:20 NLT)
Since we know that God invented measuring and is the author of getting results, it is a logical assumption that we should be measuring our ministries to determine our results. It’s said that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. That’s kind of what happens when key elements of organizations are not diligently managed and held accountable by measurement. Of course, you measure your membership, your offerings, attendance and all that, but how do these things tie directly back to your overall plan and strategy? Are there perhaps some critical areas that are being overlooked? Could it be that these critical measurements are the cause of your ministry not achieving the results you anticipated? There is a strong likelihood.
You see, everything your ministry does to be as effective as it’s capable of being requires individual action plans that tie directly to its overall strategy. Then, the individual action steps that make up the action plan need constant measurement to keep them on target. This may be a bit oversimplified, but it does keep your ministry on track to achieve its goals for the year.
Most times though, we don’t always know what to measure. What’s critical and what’s a waste of time? That’s where competent help comes in. If you’ve really crystallized your ministries thinking and you have done what the secular world calls “due diligence,” you’ll have already made an inventory of all your organizational needs. Then, from those needs, you develop a solid plan and strategy to meet those needs. From the plan and strategy, you develop the action plans and steps. That’s what you measure.
The world-leader in strategic development, Leadership Management, Inc. says managing your results is a “Critical Success Factor.” Further, they say, “The best-designed plan or strategy is only as good as the implementation process behind it. Failure in strategic planning is usually the result of ineffective results management.” That’s a short statement, but very, very powerful. If your ministry has taken the time and expense to develop that plan and strategy, but you’re not managing the results, failure of the plan will likely occur. This happens far too many times. LMI goes on to say that, “A simple but comprehensive results management system turns daily action steps into a strong motivational force. Results management systems function best when implemented at every level of the organization, even in remote locations. The organization’s overall plan and strategy become the benchmark for daily operations and long-term vision.”
Now, to get the full impact of what LMI is saying, you may want to read that last paragraph more than once. Let me say it like this: When you deploy an effective results management system, it keeps your staff motivated (because they can see the result of their work as it relates to the plan) and it keeps the plan in FULL VIEW so as to be the standard for which all work is measured. When your plan is this visible, accountability is, too. And when you have everything in the open for the whole ministry to see, nothing-- no-thing falls through the cracks! Nothing is left behind, because it’s being viewed and measured constantly!
Hopefully, I’ve effectively communicated the fundamental need for your ministry to manage the results it’s trying to achieve. It is so very important. I would also be remiss if I told you that you need to manage your results, but didn’t tell you how to begin the process. Since we are a ministry of improvement, Seed of Excellence has access to the finest results management system and software available anywhere. If you truly desire to catapult your ministry into a new dimension of excellence, just give us a call, we have the answer.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)
In my quest to continually improve this column and have it achieve the level of excellence God intends for it, I solicit your questions.