My Notes from Andy Stanley on “Finding & Creating a Uniquely Better Product” @ the Leadership Summit

I’m at the leadership summit with the team from Revolution Church. This is by far the best leadership conference of the year. This is my 14th summit and every year, God stretches me and challenges me. So much wisdom and inspiration wrapped up into two days. I always blog my notes, so if you can’t attend or missed something, I’ve got you covered.

Here are some takeaways from the last session of day 1 with Andy Stanley:

  • If we had to do it all over again, what would we do all over again? What really worked in our church?
  • It’s important to answer the question, why is this working.
  • Part of being successful as a church is having a uniquely better product.
  • Unique isn’t enough. You can be uniquely bad. Unique doesn’t create momentum.
  • There are shared assumptions in every industry that cause us to do the same things, the same way.
  • Uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances that successful organizations are trying to avoid.
  • Uniquely better is often a solution to a problem.
  • Uniquely better is often so unique that successful organizations cannot imagine that it is better.
  • The more successful you are, the more likely that when what’s better comes along, the more likely that you’ll miss it.
  • Our job is to create a culture to find what is uniquely better instead of resisting it.

How do you create a culture that looks for uniquely better:

  • Be a student, not a critic. 
  • Don’t criticize something you don’t understand.
  • We naturally resist things we don’t understand or can’t control.
  • The moment you start criticizing, you stop learning.
  • “The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation.” -Al Ries
  • Keep your eyes and your mind wide open. 
  • Listen to people who aren’t in our industry, who don’t know how to do what we do.
  • Outsiders aren’t bound by our assumptions.
  • Closed minded leaders close minds. 
  • How do discern if you’re closed minded: How do you respond to suggestions about other organizations? When was the last time your organization embraced a big idea that wasn’t your idea? When was the last time you weren’t sure of an initiative but you gave the go ahead anyway?
  • Replace how with wow.
  • All ideas die at the word ‘how.’
  • You lose nothing by saying wow.
  • Wow ideas to life, don’t how them to death.
  • We fuel innovation or kill them by our response to new, untried, expensive ideas.
  • Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about.
  • The world will put enough ‘how’s’ in front of your kids, let’s be ‘wow’ parents.
  • Ask the uniquely better questions. 
    • Is this unique?
    • What would make this unique?
    • Is it better?
    • Is it better…really?