#7 Encourage Innovation

Earlier this year, Positive Alternative Radio (PAR) proudly announced that it had been certified as a
Best Christian Workplace by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). It is a high honor,
which is bestowed—or denied, based on the results of BCWI’s Engagement Survey.
Survey results are compiled from anonymous feedback submitted by the registered organization’s team members.

Here, we will look at the seventh highest ranking result—Staff/employees at my organization are encouraged to experiment and to be innovative—and show you how to reflect those same positive values within your own organization.


Dear Christian Radio,

An old tried and true business practice is beginning to see its last hurrah and we couldn’t be happier. It’s the one where the boss wants to be your company’s master generator of ideas. In fact, maybe you’ve heard of or have even been a victim of “the one in charge” having to be the smartest one in the room and the author of “the next big idea!” At PAR, we believe that the opposite is true more often than not. We believe a leader is only as strong as his or her team and that the best ideas usually come from somewhere in or of that group.

Equally, we believe that a truly strong leader is confident in his or her role and thus, understands the importance of giving credit when and where it’s due. This simple, selfless act is one of the easiest ways to grow a team and their confidence.  To win in the age of modern media you must innovate, but you can’t do it alone. The fact that you have been placed in a leadership role speaks volumes about your abilities; however—and I’m sorry if this disappoints you—leader don’t have all the answers. Luckily, they don’t have to in order to be successful.

PAR teams are encouraged to innovate! In fact, we believe in this philosophy so much, each team member has even been given permission to fail.  I know, it sounds crazy, but this provides them with the courage to get up and try again—that creates an environment that breeds successful doers and thinkers. We believe strongly in creating the next generation of Christian media leaders. There is no better way to do this than to mentor them—allowing them to lead, while helping them to grow under your supervision. Once this takes hold, it becomes your job as a leader to provide them with adequate resources, and then, get out of the way.

One of the ways PAR innovates is through our internal Morning Thoughts newsletter. Every team member is invited to post answers on a variety of topics from Leadership to Company Protocol. Many wonderful ideas have been adopted due to the open and honest responses of our team members.  We seek suggestions from them and allow for caring candor in the exchange of ideas. This doesn’t happen overnight, but can be established when trust is established with your team. It’s important to remember that your organization’s next best idea may not come from the CEO, its Leadership Team, or even middle management. When given room to grow though, it will come from someone great, and perhaps, unexpected.

John Maxwell’s, “The 5 Levels of Leadership” is one of my favorite books. It unpacks what it truly means to lead and add value to your team. Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership are:

  1. Position – People follow because they have to.
  2. Permission – People follow because they want to.
  3. Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally.

5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

Let me add one of my own…People follow because you give them permission to innovate and collaborate.

I know it’s tempting, but don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. Chances are, you’re not…and if you are, you need to hire better next time. A great team will make a good leader shine every time. Tap into the gifts God has given you. Then, tap into the gifts God has given them!  Invest in your team and listen with honest intent to their ideas. Doing so will can transform your ministry beyond your wildest dreams.

Dear Christian Radio…

  1. Provide Permission. Give your team the freedom to innovate.
  2. Offer Praise. Give your team credit whenever possible.
  3. Encourage Innovation. Promote the exchange of ideas with your team.

 

ENCW –

Frankie Morea
Vice President of Programming
Positive Alternative Radio

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