Back to the basics

By Mike Klockenbrink

But whose basics should be followed?

You’ve just ended your two-week layover on Megalops 3. You’ve resupplied the ship, exchanged some crew members and you’re ready to venture into uncharted territory. The captain has set the course and handed down orders. He alerts everyone, “Warp speed ahead.”

The crew is filled with excitement on this new adventure.

A few weeks into the journey, you start to uncover some hiccups. As you look into the root cause of the issues, you find a common thread.

The problem appears to be with the majority of the new crew members. But these are all qualified people, you argue. Each one is tasked with a specific job. They know what to do, don’t they?

Everyone knows the basic standards. The question is do they have your standards down? After all, you would like to think that your ship is not a cookie cutout of every other ship. You have your specific mark on it. You do some things just a little bit different. Some would even say you’re unique.

Somewhere along the way your team has learned to streamline some processes or eliminate them completely. After all, you’ve empowered them to do their job and find ways to make things better. But now how do you bring everyone up to speed on how you do things “around here?”  And how can you hold someone accountable for doing the job as it was originally intended?

First and foremost, don’t assume that everyone does things your way. Next, check if your manuals, processes and policies are up to date. If not, I suggest you spend some time updating them. It could be a little task to do today or a major overhaul down the road.

The reality is, when you’re moving ahead at warp speed you’re going to experience some hiccups. So get your crew together once a year for a little lesson on getting back to the basics. As long as you let everyone know whose basics their dealing with, you and your crew are more likely to experience smoother sailing ahead. Enjoy your adventure this year.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA.


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