SLI AL Report--Social Media
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SLI AL Report--Social Media

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Orlando 2012

Orlando 2012

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SLI AL Report--Social Media SLI AL Report--Social Media Document Transcript

  • social media action proposal2012 senior leadership initiative
  • table of contents introduction 3 research 4 4 caring efficient 6 passionate 7 cru apps analysis 9 recommendations 10 digital alignment 11 strategic issues 12 ministry strategies 13 obstacles 15 what we learned 16 conclusion 19 Ryan McReynolds | David Hand | Ryan Sather | Brian Barela Megan Soderberg | Jeff Ammons | Matt Brubaker 2
  • introductionproject overviewThis Senior Leadership Initiative (SLI) project sought to develop a deep understanding of Cru’s U.S. digital landscape andidentify the primary roadblocks preventing digital media and tools from achieving their maximum impact.The initial project focused on building a mobile application, but research quickly revealed an even greater opportunity: tobuild a framework for resourcing current apps and building new ones focused on the needs and preferences of Cru staff.In order for Cru to reach even more people for Christ, it is critical to understand the ways Cru staff reference each otherto make digital decisions.After analysis of extensive research with non-profit industry experts, global advertising agencies, field staff and Cru exec-utive leaders, it has become evident that every U.S. ministry can better harness digital tools to reduce operational costs,build a more consistent, well-defined brand and empower more evangelistic efforts.research summaryIn order to better understand Cru’s digital landscape and how staff use digital tools, the SLI team conducted research overa five-month period using personal interviews, an online survey and analysis of historical data and current trends in sociol-ogy and technology. Research revealed three characteristics consistent among staff. Cru staff are caring, passionate andefficient. Each of these characteristics is significant in regard to staff digital technology adoption. 1. personal interviews In-depth interviews were conducted with 26 people representing diverse ministry perspectives and interests — from Cru’s president to part-time field volunteers. In addition to Cru staff, the team interviewed several leaders of other nonprofits that excel in the digital media arena. The interviews uncovered both bright spots and deficient gaps of Cru’s digital strategies, implementation and effectiveness. 2. 2012 sli digital media survey With the SLI Digital Media Survey, more than 780 Cru staff were surveyed about their engagement with digital tools. Survey analysis revealed many current realities of how staff use digital tools. The staff responses showed the subjective and emotional factors that influence staff engagement in the digital world. 3. historical data and current trends in sociology and technology The SLI team culled through more than 100 research articles, studies, demographic surveys and internet usage reports to better understand a broad spectrum of issues influencing people and technology. Every U.S. ministry can better harness digital tools to reduce operational costs, build a more consistent, well-defined brand and empower evangelistic efforts. 3
  • caring staff STAFF CARE DEEPLY FOR OTHER PEOPLE CRU STAFF CONNECTIONSCru staff maintain three times morerelationships than the average person. 25 100 As a result of their caring nature, staff tend to maintain three times more relationships than the average person. 4
  • caring staffCru staff have an extreme value, affection, concern and regard for people in their relational network. They feel it is theirduty to care for all of these people.staff insight: cru staff have limited time and energy to try new digital tools becausethey have three times more relationships than the average person.Staff networks include family, friends, ministry partners, church friends and ministry assignment, and often these net- “works have a past, present and future layer to them that divide and absorb staff’s time and attention. I have too many real people to meet with and spend time with. I don’t have any extra time to spend on something like that. — Cru Field Staff, 2012 SLI Digital Media Survey “ They (Cru Staff) have to be willing to give time to it (new digital tools). If they think they have to just add this into their busy schedule, it won’t work. — Steve Sellers, Vice President for the Americasleadership insight: digital media connects organizational leaders with staff whoare in the field and geographically distant from the leaders. “ (With social media) I become human… and it’s really simple and natural. — Ken Cochrum, Global VP Student-Led Movementsindustry expert insight: digital content intended to care for others is the mostviewed and shared online. “ Even a good post may not be the kind of thing that people want to share. The personal encouragement that is relevant to others is what gets shared. “ — Colin Hansen, The Gospel Coalition Charity: water is at the top of food chain of nonprofits because of their focus on transparency. — Jason Reynolds, Marketing Director, CSN Media Cru staff want digital tools that help them improve their existing relationships with donors, staff friends and ministry contacts. 5
  • passionate staffCru staff are extraordinarily passionate about connecting others to Jesus, as compared to the general population. They arewilling invest their full-time efforts to build a team of ministry partners that will allow them to share the Gospel regularlywith strangers.staff insight: many field staff have not witnessed the impact digital media can havein face-to-face ministry relationships, and they lack passion when talking about the “value of digital media in ministry. If I believe that it will help, I will do it. I need to see a justification for the time required. “ — Cru Field Staff, 2012 SLI Digital Media Survey If social media would enhance and help us be more effective, I’m willing, but right now my ‘to do’ list is so long, and the learning curve too steep. — Cru Field Staff, 2012 SLI Digital Media Surveyleadership insight: organizational leaders passionately believe cru needs to changein order to progress along with the evolving digital culture. “ We have not been quick at leveraging the organization to adopt social media. “ — Steve Sellers, Vice President for the Americas Right now there are a ton of gaps with the way we communicate with our audience, believers and unbelievers. We are a 20th century organization trying to change to a 21st century digital organization, and that isn’t easy. — Rich Street, Director of Virtually-Led Movementsindustry expert insight: in order to be effective, digital content and resources de-veloped for cru staff must match the passion they have for the gospel. “ Most faith-based organizations are afraid to stand out and to be controversial. But, they don’t say anything that people don’t expect. It’s expected and boring. — David Miles, Miles Brand DNA Cru staff will adopt new digital tools and resources only when it’s clear that they enhance their ability to be more effective at connecting others to Jesus. 6
  • efficient staff Connections Between Staff Drive Adoption of Digital Tools easyhelpful 70% of staff will try a new Cru digital tool if staff friends say it’s helpful and easy. — 2012 SLI Digital Media Survey Cru staff are heavily influenced by their staff friends when making decisions about ministry and digital tools. 7
  • efficient staffAs a result of their caring and passionate nature, staff are careful to allocate and consume resources so that their personalcapacity for caring relationships will increase and reach maximum efficiency.Staff will only adopt new digital tools when they promise more efficiency than their current digital solution. New toolsthat have features that take time to learn or are unstable delay staff adoption rather than promote it. If digital tools areperceived as multiplying or saving time, staff will learn how to use them.staff insight: despite potential benefits, cru staff do not devote time to learn oruse digital media in their day-to-day ministry. “ I attended a seminar at the Comm Lab that was very helpful. I simply haven’t taken the time yet to implement the ideas. “ — Cru Field Staff, 2012 SLI Digital Media Survey I don’t have time to search around and play with apps. It would be helpful to have a ‘how to’ for the basics in each of the social media outlets. — Cru Field Staff, 2012 SLI Digital Media Surveyleadership insight: digital media provides cru staff the opportunity to connect withmore people in the same amount of time than traditional outreach methods. “ Facebook is this unbelievable tool that gives me access to hundreds if not thousands of our staff. My first objective is to connect with as many staff as I can in 15-20 minutes. I do every birthday. “ — Judy Douglass, wife to Cru President Steve Douglass Most staff are really busy. They aren’t going to let go of this unless they know some- thing else will make their lives better. So getting their attention is key. — Steve Sellers, Vice President for the Americasindustry expert insight: cru staff cannot centralize their digital information with-out help. large organizations recognize that managing data is a full-time job. “ Adobe has a ‘Digital Librarian to to access, categorize and organize information. You can’t assume good information is going to manage itself. — Brian Reich, Vice President of Edelman Digital If digital tools are perceived as multiplying or saving time, staff will learn how to use them. 8
  • cru apps analysiscurrent situationIn the last two years, there has been significant progress in coordinating the digital assets of the U.S. ministries. Keynote’sNew Media Labs team has become part of the U.S. campus ministry, an Information Technology (IT) Council has been es-tablished and digital tools like Connect and Care and MissionHub have been introduced to centralize and increase accessto valuable contact information on volunteers and donors.A significant opportunity exists to further coordinate Cru’s U.S. digital assets to reduce operational costs, build a moreconsistent, well-defined brand, and facilitate more evangelistic efforts. Without this coordination, Cru’s digital tools andapps cannot achieve organizational alignment or ministry impact. Currenty, many separate entities are creating redundantdigital resources which are distributed through a wide variety of channels without any strategic coordination. This lack ofcoordination wastes time and money, and it dilutes the value of any single digital tool.The centralized coordination of “Cru Apps” is in it’s early stage of development and has only functioned as an informal col-laboration group thus far. To be successful, many processes and teams must be coordinated, centralized and standardizedto achieve maximum impact and apply Cru’s resources most effectively.case studiesAnalyzing the implementation and use of TntMPD and MissionHub further emphasizes the key findings. TntMPD has loyaland passionate users, as well as confused and frustrated ones. While it does not have innovative features like social mediaintegration, it provides vital staff information like up-to-date staff account balance information, specific ministry partnerdetails and notices about late and new ministry partners. TntMPD has also been supported by Cru for more than a decade,making it an efficient and trusted resource among staff.MissionHub debuted at the 2011 U.S. Staff Conference, as an innovative digital tool to capture evangelistic contacts moreeffectively than paper. It featured a well-designed logo and color scheme. Many staff tried using it during the fall but werefrustrated that the new features did not easily fit in with their realities on campus. MissionHub advocates also didn’t focustheir communication efforts on explaining the ways it could save staff time and ease their evangelistic efforts.The experiences of both digital tools confirm the key findings of the research. TntMPD and MissionHub reveal that stability,longevity and efficiency often trump innovation and creativity when staff select digital tools to help their ministry efforts. Stability, longevity and efficiency often trump innovation and creativity when staff select digital tools to help their ministry. 9
  • recommendations1. reduce operational costsLack of coordination between Cru’s existing digital tools leads operational costs to be higher than needed. The SLI teamrecommends educating the IT Council and key U.S. ministry leaders of the digital adoption preferences and tendencies ofCru staff. It is also recommended that the IT Council develop specific criteria for all future digital tools related to user-fo-cus, data-driven and integration with overall U.S. ministry strategies.Implementing specific criteria will allow those involved in digital development to spend the majority of their time movingthe digital assets of the U.S. staff forward, rather than competing for resources or failing to integrate the learning of pastapps or resources. Vetting all future digital tools and initiatives through this framework will save Cru thousands, if not hun-dreds of thousands of dollars in the years to come.2. build a more consistent, well-defined brandCru’s recent rebranding efforts provide a tremendous opportunity to align and build trust and credibility of Cru in theeyes of ministry staff, partners and volunteers. Research revealed that staff value digital tools built and sponsored by Cru.Many of Cru digital tools have not considered how Cru’s new style guidelines fit into their existing design or communica-tion materials. Since many volunteers and ministry partners will use Cru apps, it’s imperative digital tools amplify a moreconsistent and well-defined Cru brand.3. facilitate and empower more evangelistic effortsCru’s evangelistic effectiveness hinges on staff’s ability to adopt digital tools that are relevant and valued by today’s collegestudents, leaders and churches. Research shows that staff will consider using new digital tools, but not because an interestin innovation. Instead, staff adopt tools when they are sponsored by Cru’s organizational leaders and used by a majorityof their staff peers. Training and educating staff on the benefits of digital tools in ministry, as well as using communicationtactics that speak to their caring, efficient and passionate nature will help many of our staff cross the chasm to use digitaltools for ministry effectiveness. Future digital decisions should focus on technology that is staff focused, data driven, consistently branded and integrated with overall U.S. ministry strategies. 10
  • digital alignmentIn order for these recommendations to be successfully implemented in Cru, several key leaders will need to be aligned.They can utilize their respective positions in Cru to advocate on behalf of centralized, branded digital tools for evangelism.Each of these stakeholders may require some extent of education and training on how staff make technological decisions.IT Council has the greatest potential to benefit from the digital media research and recommendations, as they are prima-ry team overseeing the strategic direction of every digital tool and resource in the U.S. Campus Ministry. Armed with thepreferences of Cru staff, the IT Council can identify the best emerging digital tools and resource them effectively. This willrequire a dramatic shift from their current focus on innovative, new technology to digital tools that simplify and ease staffministry efforts. Their strategic guidance of digital tools will be enhanced by aligning key internal and external stakeholdersto the reality of staff preferences. The diverse mixture of IT Council leaders can empower staff at every level of USCM totrain, educate and advocate for the integration of appropriate digital tools into ministry needs and responsibilities.Steve Douglass leads staff toward tactics that can increase overall effectiveness. By understanding staff digital adoptionpreferences, Douglass can tailor his communications to US staff by showing them how digital tools can benefit their min-istry by helping them to share the Gospel more efficiently. Without considering this framework of staff values and motiva-tions, he could inadvertently end up advocating for tools that complicate, rather than ease, the ministry process for staff.Steve Sellers will need to understand that staff alter their digital tool usage primarily based on how many other staff theyknow using the tool and not it’s potential for future impact. When advocating the value of emerging tools such as Mission-Hub or MPDX, he must not lead with new features but instead demonstrate how it saves or maximizes their time.John Rogers will find the research and recommendations will assist all of his budgetary decisions related to digital tools,apps and technical infrastructure. He would benefit from an in-depth discussion of staff preferences with one of the SLIteam members. Rogers’ allocation of resources will be more effective if he can establish a funding criteria based on thepassionate, caring and efficient preferences and use it to guide those who are seeking budgetary funding.Regional Operations Directors heavily influence staff adoption of digital tools. Regional Operations Directors can em-pathize with the field staff they lead. They can increase the adoption of Cru digital tools by communicating the benefits ofdigital tools in relation to the ideas of caring, efficient and passionate minded staff.Ellis Goldstein should understand staff preferences apply to the development of MPDX. To gain traction with staff, MPDXbranding and messaging should focus on how it will help staff be more efficient, rather than how it is a new, innovativeministry technology. He should also consider how to provide extensive training to help staff set up and begin using MPDX.Keith Johnson oversees New Staff Training (NST), and this information is vital to NST planning. Although new staff areyoung, research shows that age is less of a determinant of how staff adopt digital tools. New staff are more likely to followthe efficient technology decisions based on what digital tools their Cru staff friends are using. Considering these realitiescould lead to significant changes in the NST curriculum that would motivate and inspire staff to use digital tools in ministry. Align key leaders within Cru to advocate on behalf of central- ized, branded digital tools for evangelism. Leaders will need to be educated on how staff make technological decisions. 11
  • strategic issuesit council responsibilities • How can every digital resource and application be brought underneath the leadership of the IT Council? • How can Cru develop digital resources that pull staff towards innovative behaviors while managing their preferences for stable, trusted and proven technology? • How can the IT Council set up a team to assess how well staff are able to use Cru’s current digital tools? • How does the research inform, correct or amplify the tactics suggested by Dave Lootens’ Data Action learning team? • How can the IT council help local teams grow in their digital effectiveness by identifying ministry outcomes, stan- dards, capacity, motivations and incentives which will reveal digital training needed for ministry success? We suggest that every local level team leader in every ministry in the U.S. complete a brief Digital Training Assessment Coaching Appointment before March 31, 2013. Our Action Learning team would be willing to create the content for this coaching appointment.communication & branding • How can a branding consultant be utilized to determine how effectively the current digital tools contribute to Cru’s overall brand? • What are some initial steps that can coordinate the brand identity and messages of each of Cru’s digital tools? • How can the communication of Cru’s digital tools be changed to match the preferences uncovered in research?keynote alignment • How can Keynote staff lead digital training and resource development for Cru staff? • How can Keynote staff be leveraged and empowered to be seen as the internal experts for digital tools and strategy? • How can Keynote help train and resource national and regional leaders on how staff adopt digital tools so they can tailor their communications about the various digital tools and resources to the preferences of staff? How can the IT Council, Keynote ministry and consistent branding be used to centralize and coordinate digital efforts? 12
  • ministry strategiesAs representatives from many different Cru ministries, the SLI team identified specific tactics to implement in each minis-try as a result of key findings.cru campusThe Campus Ministry offers digital tools that are heavily resourced by national leadership but only sparingly used by fieldstaff. Applying this new model will help regional and national leaders forecast and diagnose which features and tools havethe best chance to be useful and provide value to a clear majority of staff. This will save significant time and money and willhelp Cru staff care for others more efficiently.Caring, efficient and passionate applies to the most committed volunteers and partners as well. Understanding this frame-work will help Cru equip those who share these motivations and help us attract more of those like us. As the number ofstaff using digital tools increases, they will influence and mobilize the volunteers they work with.According to research, an enormous amount of time is wasted on inefficient or improperly used tools. Properly applied,these insights can increase the productivity of Cru Staff by 20 percent. This is equal to a day each week that could be re-in-vested in evangelism and discipleship.keynoteThe digital media team at Keynote can provide the leadership and training necessary for U.S. ministries to adopt digitaltools and strategies that will greatly increase evangelistic effectiveness. Specifically, Keynote can help design and imple-ment digital strategies that conform to the new brand guidelines, coordinate with key digital assets and target strategicsegments of people that are most likely to interact and donate to Cru’s staff or ministries.By applying the caring, efficient and passionate insights to MissionHub, they can dramatically increase the number of non-believers that hear the Gospel at the student-led level. Additionally, God Tools and Everystudent.com could be marketedmore effectively to our staff and in the context of how they would prefer to use them to accomplish their goals.military ministryCoordinating and aligning the Military Ministry digital tools with the other U.S. tools could have huge savings in both humanand financial resources, allowing the ministry to pursue our evangelistic efforts more vigorously. The Military Ministry isalso now committed to providing the training necessary for staff to feel comfortable and confident enough to use newdigital tools. Specific Cru ministries can increase productivity and save resources by centralizing digital tool development and training. 13
  • ministry strategiesAs representatives from many different Cru ministries, the SLI team identified specific tactics to implement in each minis-try as a result of key findings.athletes in actionAIA has young staff that are interested in utilizing the newest tools to reach this generation of athletes. The research donefor this project will help translate their passion for innovation into organizational tactics that can scale across the organi-zation and align with Cru’s overall goals.The insights from this research only reinforce the need to harness the learning, insight and best practices at the nationallevel and provide training to each staff and volunteer that serves alongside the AIA ministry. Evangelistic effectiveness istied more directly to the strategic use of digital tools than ever before. Tailoring communications based on our staff’s car-ing, efficient and passionate nature can see exponential results in evangelistic efforts in the years to come.here’s life inner cityHere’s Life was on the edge of developing several new digital tools and applications before the project began. After com-pleting the project, Here’s Life can make more informed and strategic decisions about how to allocate funds towards digitaltools and what kind of training the ministry can provide to staff and volunteers.As Here’s Life engages with Cru’s new branding guidelines, this project propelled understanding of how important it is tocoordinate our efforts with Cru City and Cru’s overall brand. This project has reinforced the importance of simplicity andease of use. Here’s Life desires that all volunteers and donors understand that the ministry is part of Cru but have a distinctposition in urban ministry.global technology officeIt is apparent the Global Technology Office (GTO) can resource the operations leaders from each of the 14 areas moreeffectively. The staff adoption insights directly apply to staff from many various countries. I can see how many area andnational operations teams could benefit from understanding how staff tend to adopt new tools.In many countries, staff operations leaders want to apply a technology solution to “fix” deficient gaps in desired operation-al outcomes. Although digital tools often are crucial to these solutions, if staff will never use the particular tools chosen bythe leaders, the desired outcomes still remain unattained. The caring, efficient and passionate themes should be explainedto national operations leaders who advise field staff on digital tools. This could be accomplished via several global trainingvenues coordinated regularly by GTO and the Global Operations Team. Specific Cru ministries can utilize the caring, efficient and passionate framework to better communicate with those who serve alongside each ministries. 14
  • obstaclesovercoming key difficultiesThe greatest obstacles to Cru’s digital success are the independent operation of many digital tools, the assumption thatstaff prefer innovative digital tools and the lack of continued nationally sponsored support for Cru’s digital tools.Most digital resources and apps have been developed and implemented independent of one another. These digital toolshave their own distinct branding and messaging that is not completely aligned to one another or the strategic goals andpriorities of Steve Sellers. The coordination and alignment of these resources under the IT Council and one leader couldlead to significant changes in Cru’s overall evangelistic effectiveness.Cru’s organizational leaders underestimate how much staff value stable, trusted digital tools over flashy, innovative tech-nology. Within Cru, digital tools often suffer from low adoption or use because they are communicated as new, innovativeor cutting-edge.Cru staff want and need help using digital tools. A huge obstacle is providing ongoing support for staff to help them set-up,maintain and grow in their ability to use Cru’s digital tools effectively.changing the cru digital cultureResearch revealed that most staff do not prefer to use innovative or new digital tools, but they are very passionate aboutsharing the Gospel. The biggest opportunity for change is helping our staff connect their passion for evangelism with theopportunity to use digital tools to multiply their ministry efforts.Another area for significant cultural change is facilitating “user-focused” development of digital tools and communicationof these tools’ values and benefits. As organizational leaders become more aware and empathetic of staff’s caring, efficientand passionate nature, they can prepare talks and trainings that will pull staff toward using digital tools. Cru must overcome the independent operation of many digital tools, the assumption that staff prefer innovative tools and the lack of continued national oversight for digital tools. 15
  • what we learnedryan mcreynoldsInsight as an Individual: I learned that my style of learning is not shared by the majority of other Cru staff. This has blind-ed me to the needs of others when adopting new tools. I have long suggested that others learn on their own using web-based tutorials. In return, I have heard from most others that they need someone to show them how to use new tools. Mystrengths in self-learning made me deaf to these pleas.Insight as a Team: Our team thought that we were tasked with building an app. Not everyone on the team was even in-terested in that task. What we discovered was a model for understanding how our staff adopt new “apps” of any kind. Thishas captured the interest of our entire team.Insight in Organizational Leadership: The same trait of humility that allows listening and learning in personal life is crit-ical to professional leadership. Organizational leaders who don’t have the humility to listen to their customers and theiremployees are doomed to bondage in their own strengths and weaknesses. Those who listen can harness the wisdom andinsight of others to create value for all, not just themselves.Personal Development: I have learned the value of research to understand the right course of action. Without research,I will assume that my limited perspective is the only one. I have learned that I need to advocate and plan for training in anymission critical tool (e.g. MissionHub, infoBase, email, calendar, Facebook, etc.). Developing my leadership skills during theAction Learning Process, I am trying to lead with powerful questions. Learning the coach approach has allowed me to pushfor clarity like never before.david handInsight as an Individual: I learned that, as expected, this project was a huge amount of fun because it individually allowedme to collect and analyze mounds of data (one of my top strengths on StrengthFinders). I also came to appreciate at a newlevel what it means to collaborate and set direction as a team. It takes collaboration to make data driven decisions.Insight as a Team: As a team, we dove in and swam through a ton of information. We had to digest information personallywhile making sure our teammates did not drown or get left behind. It was only after we collectively assessed what we werelearning did our project objectives come clearly into focus. In fact, our team had to choose to pivot our project directionand goals — from app building to documenting key principles of user experience. This never would have happened if wehad not learned to process, reflect and analyze as a team.Insight in Organizational Leadership: Restating the purpose, goals and intermediate checkpoints repeatedly in a varietyof ways is critical. Repeated communication is tiring but is the key to maintaining momentum and common direction.Personal Development: I learned it takes courage to lead and direct people towards an uncertain result. We can setgoals, but often there are many uncertainties or obstacles along the way. Asking good questions is a powerful way to lead.Leaders must be personal, approachable and humble — pursuing solutions and answers beyond their own abilities and un-derstanding. I’ve learned to value teammates and partners as people chosen specifically by God to carry out a special rolewhich you yourself can not do. Value the person over results. Be Spirit filled in communicating on even the smallest tasksand assume that teammates are Spirit filled. 16
  • what we learnedmegan soderbergInsight as an Individual: The greatest insight I received came from our research. Our staff is behind when it comes tosocial media. This does not come as a surprise, but a confirmation. As a ministry that is known for pioneering, we mustcommit to pioneering in ways that keep us in pace with our culture.Insight as a Team: Great teams consist of people with like-minded goals but not like-minded ideas. The diversity in ourteam members mode of thinking was an asset to our team.Insight in Organizational Leadership: Simplicity is the key when working in an organization with so many people from dif-ferent backgrounds and ministries. This is precisely why I love the concept of decision-making grids. They lend to simplicity.Personal Development: I have learned the value of decision-making grid, through which all decisions, large and small,should be filtered. By creating a decision-making grid with clear goals and desired outcomes, more consistency is builtwithin the organization.jeff ammonsInsight as an Individual: I must build capacity through delegation and involving more people in my leadership.Insight as a Team: Teams need an agreed upon process to be effective, and those processes require attention and man-agement. Information, expectations and deadlines need management as much as leadership.Insight in Organizational Leadership: Alignment through regular communication, feedback, and involvement is crucial.Personal Development: I have developed as a leader through my exposure to other leaders through our interviews butmore importantly the examples of godly leadership of my teammates. I have learned through their examples and gainedinsight into tools that I would not have looked into otherwise. I also have a broader understanding of our organization now.I have recognized opportunities to lead and use the platforms I have been given to lead. In the past I have been slow to leadbut this experience has helped me recognize opportunities to serve. I am quicker to delegate and empower others to utilizetheir strengths and gifts to accomplish tasks that serve the mission.ryan satherInsight as an Individual: Since I tend to desire closure, I don’t typically value processing. I realized through this projectthat it is important to have full team engagement to value processing.Insight as a Team: When a team of leaders clearly understands the purpose of a project it is amazing what can be done.Insight in Organizational Leadership: It seems that the key in large-scale organizational leadership is to make things sim-ple enough that they can be widely adopted and understood by the audience you are trying to impact with change.Personal Development: I have realized the importance of connecting the goals and objectives of various projects back tothe bigger vision and mission of the ministry is critical. Getting “outside” voices that don’t think or live inside of the bubblein which we live is key to getting fresh ideas and insight that can help move a project forward. I have already begun makingsure there is a clear sense of purpose and direction for the various things we are working on as a team. If the objective isnot clear it is very important to work on getting clarity before trying to push ahead and just “do something” for the sakeof doing something. 17
  • what we learnedmatt brubakerInsight as an Individual: As an activator I tend to seek to quickly define a problem, select an actionable solution (or two)and then execute making corrections as we go. In this setting the real action we had was defining our problem. Beforewe could begin to solve the how, we had to process and mull over the data to figure out the “why.” For me this focus onslowing down long enough to find the why was great learning experience.Insight as a Team: After a sizable pivot in our deliverables we learned that challenging our assumed solutions and successcriteria lead us to what the organization needed most rather than the “easier” solution that we were excited about.Insight in Organizational Leadership: I learned that understanding your people and your organizational culture is as im-portant if not more than understanding the subject manner of your problem. AKA we solved more by knowing the realitiesof our staff than by knowing the capabilities of technology.Personal Development: I learned that it didn’t matter if our sponsor thought we had a good idea, only if our staff wereengaged in new tools. We couldn’t truly find success until we knew our users as well as we knew our subject. I also learnedthe value of training and alignment for those affected as you advocate for change. I am now better at slowing how quicklyI dive in and first taking the time to question the parameters of the problem and the solution. Having solid research beforeacting can greatly change the goal of a project.brian barelaInsight as an Individual: It’s critical to let the process of sorting through and synthesizing information get messy andslightly unstructured to maximize team learning and ownership. I am even more comfortable now moving forward withlimited clarity and direction as an individual in order to benefit my team the most.Insight as a Team: Structuring and restructuring the process for communication and for task completion is a powerfulway to increase collaboration.Insight in Organizational Leadership: It’s invaluable to spend time identifying as many key organizational stakeholdersas possible when leading organizational change. Often times they are significant decision makers not in traditional roles orareas of the organization where you would naturally assume.Personal Development: I have learned to challenge every assumption and look for data to backup and drive every deci-sion. Additionally, it is significant to ask questions and pursue people that do know parts of the organization of which I amunfamiliar. I’ve already seen myself begin to challenge my assumptions and personal preferences with data and research. 18
  • conclusionfuture of cruCru’s impact in cities around the world will exponentially increase as digital tools are further coordinated, aligned and re-sourced with the goal of empowering millions of volunteers.With digital tools centralized, national leaders will have more influence over the direction of digital tools that directly im-pact their organizational strategy.Through improved insight into staff realities, regional leaders will be empowered to capture, track, mobilize and resourceministry efforts with ease.With consistent branding and communications, field staff will adopt tools that will improve both their personal ministryand Cru’s ability to connect with volunteers beyond college. Cru’s impact in cities around the world will exponentially increase as digital tools are further coordinated, aligned and resourced with the goal of empowering millions of volunteers. 19