What are the top global trends that will influence your life, work, or ministry for the next several years?

Recently a colleague asked me that question. As I reflect on my continuous diet of news, research, and reading, here are my top 8 Global Game-changers:

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Biotech
  3. Globally connected economies and markets
  4. Wealth gap/income disparity
  5. Mobile device as primary personal all-in-one communication/info tool
  6. Shift from hierarchy -> networking model in every institutional form (governments, education, non-profits, Forbes 500 corporations)
  7. Terrorism and extremism’s violence as a norm
  8. Spiritual revival and awakening as people turn to God for answers to 1-7 above

What’s on your list?

Confession: I love working from a clean desk.

My creativity blossoms when I see a clean whiteboard or a fresh page in my journal. At least to start something. But once the ideas get flowing and people and projects come together I have learned, over many years in leading, that mess is best.

Over the past year I have been working with a team of creatives. These folks thrive amid messy desks, crazy decor, strange art, police tape, hi viz colors, unfinished meals, and the constant buzz of collaboration. Our little area in the corporate HQ doesn’t quite fit into the normal culture. A discarded oversized whiteboard maps out the next iteration of a mobile app. No Thomas Kinkade paintings here.

It’s one of the messiest places I’ve ever worked. It’s also one of the most productive. We’ve nicknamed our little corner The Oxpen.

Howard's snake and gator head.

Howard’s rattlesnake and gator head

Oxpen 1

The Oxpen

Proverbs 14:4 says: “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come from the strength of the ox.”

Translation: You can choose clean and orderly, or you can choose messy and productive. You can’t have it both ways as a leader.

Movements of God are messy. People are messy. Leadership is messy. Leaders embrace the mess. As we lead in a 21st century world of rapid iteration, agile product development, and 7 second social media attention spans, we’ve got to create environments where the oxen can make a mess. The farmer’s goal isn’t a clean manger; it’s a well-tended highly productive field. Unless you’re running a hospital or a silicon chip factory, your goal as a leader is not a well-ordered workplace. Your goal is fruitfulness.

Don’t be afraid to step in the fertilizer and embrace the mess of the oxpen.

Is your leadership messy enough?

How digitally mature is the organization you work for?

One year ago I didn’t even understand the question, much less have any way to answer it. Over the past 12 months a number of my colleagues and I have been exploring the implications of being digitally immature in a 21st century global culture in which:

  • 3 continents have more mobile phone subscriptions than they have people
  • 25% of North Americans access the internet only via a mobile device
  • terrorists have become experts at using social media to recruit and radicalize members toward their cause

Digital maturity occurs when an organization is increasing both in digital capabilities (mobile apps, social media engagement, delightful user experiences) and transformational leadership across every nook and cranny in the organization.

Here’s a short four-minute video that explains some key concepts I’ve shared with some of our staff about digital maturity. The “10M” represents our desire to empower 10 million multiplying leaders around the world to do what God has called them to do.

Look at the chart below. Which quadrant best describes the current state of your organization, church or business?

Credit: Capgemini Consulting, The Digital Advantage

Source: Capgemini Consulting, The Digital Advantage