I read an article in Forbes the other day that I found interesting. It was an interview with Jeff Bezos (you know, the guy who founded and runs that little company called Amazon) when he spoke at the 37 Signals HQ. The quote that triggered the Forbes piece and this article is this one:
Bezos “said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds.”
I have run into quite a few people in the production world in general, and the church production world in particular, that seem to be averse to changing their minds. They get settled into an idea, process, or opinion on a company and stay there. Forever. You see this on Twitter when someone asks for an opinion on a piece of gear, especially a new one. Even if it amazing technology, if it was made by a company someone doesn’t like, it will be trashed.
The Bose Roommatch speaker system is a great example. A few years ago, I would have had a tough time recommending a Bose product in a professional setting. Their earlier systems were pretty poor. However, this is a brand new product with a ton of engineering behind it. And it sounds quite good. And it’s at a price point many churches can afford. I have changed my mind about Bose professional (at least about that product). And I think it’s a good thing.
A while back, I wrote about my current vocal effect process. It’s evolved and changed over the years into what it is today. I’m very happy with the results I’m getting, and I teach it to my volunteers and other churches. But I also list the caveat that I may change it tomorrow if I come up with a better solution.
Jason Fried, the co-founder of 37 Signals, elaborated on Bezos’ comment:
“He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait,” Fried explains of Bezos. “It’s perfectly healthy—encouraged, even—to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.… the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.”
I love this line of reasoning. Smart people—smart church techs—are constantly opening their minds to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things. The best and smartest tech directors I know are the ones who are constantly working to improve things they thought were already pretty dialed in.
I’ve been known to blow up an entire system or process because I came up with a better idea for doing it. Of course, this needs to be tempered, especially in a setting where we have a lot of volunteers. We can’t keep changing things all the time, as it will drive them nuts. However, we should always remain open to new input that will cause our opinions to change.
How does this line of thinking strike you?