Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer Experience Improvements

Here's a few ideas that have been cooking in my head about how we improve our summer experiences. Some of them may come to fruition and some may not.

+ Teams do a bit of language study as part of their prep. Seems obvious but we totally missed this one.
+ Require reference letters for leadership roles. Another duh. Related: press our network for info on leaders that our weak ties might know.
+ Adjust applications to visit the area of humility.
+ Get a filled out application and reference letters for people we send to partners. Send these documents to the partners.
+ Each team has someone that prays. That really really prays - and that helps the team pray.
+ Each team also has someone that is in charge of logistics - where do we need to get to and when and how. If you have traveled with me, you know the gap I'm talking about is mine. I'm easily lost and this summer, I got lost trying to find a park that was 50 feet in front of me [to my credit, those were small European streets] My wife is a huge help in this area but sometimes, combined with everything else, it's a lot.
+ And from a process improvement evaluation in the Fall of 2007 - a Post trip debriefing packet - every student gets something to ponder at 2, 4, 6 week intervals after they come home.

The low water mark for emerging global student leaders gets higher every year. This type of kid gets smarter, more experienced, more passionate and has a greater bias for action every year. What doesn't change is their desire to be engaged in areas such as cross cultural leadership, calling, vocation, and the personal journeys of world class global leaders. They push us to be better and that is a good thing.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Burn

Lots I've collected over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I didn't jot down where I got these links from...

::: African driven future in demographics

::: Student discipleship meets Funding for Missions
One of the most creative revenue plans I've seen.

::: Fantastic interview with Lorne Micheals, the creator of Saturday Night Live, on working with creatives.

::: The Worst Destinations in the World, for your package

::: The Lewis Model Explains Every World Culture

::: 5 Reasons Why Millenails Stay Connected to Church

Photo: Ember X team, on the move. CDG

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mere Exposure and Loss Aversion

These studies suggest that organizational decisions will be subject to a powerful emotional distortion. When an organization's leader proposes a change in direction, people will be feeling two things: Ack, that feels unfamiliar. (And thus more uncomfortable.) Also: Ack, we're going to lose what we have today. When you put these two forces together - the mere-exposure principle and loss aversion - what you get is a powerful bias for the way things work today.
- Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Chip and Dan Heath.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ProtoGuides 2013

This fall, we've given our Ember intern experience a new name. I've never quite liked the term 'intern' before - it doesn't quite convey everything that we do with these students. Instead, we are calling them ProtoGuides. Proto coming from the concept of protege and Guide because they serve at an Ember staff level, having some of the same kind of responsibilities that our Guides have. The ProtoGuide experience is a lot more than busy work.

We've started their experience this Fall already. Two of their readings already include Church in the Making by Ben Arment and The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch, both favorites of mine and fantastic reads for anyone interested in global leadership. Check out their blogs for some good postings already [here and here] Those aren't ordinary reading for high school students. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't.

If you know a high schooler that might be interested in something like this in the future, here is a quick infosheet on the ProtoGuide experience.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shots from Sabbatical

+ Started the time in VA Beach. Ended the time in Rehoboth Beach.
+ During my time off, I've given a lot of thought energy to Ember, which is a good barometer that I'm still pretty passionate about it. If I could easily walk away from it, then it might be time to do something else. But it's not - not even close.
+ Caught up on some reading. I read Multipliers because of the WCAGLAS - I felt like a lot of it was a no-brainer if you lead people. I read The Box - because of Bill Gates - it kind of put me to sleep. I'm in the middle of Decisive, which is so so so good.
+ We got a dog named Oreo from a local rescue. He has the most amazing personality, so friendly, well behaved and obedient. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is the name of the place.
+ 7th and 10th grade have gotten off to a good start.
+ Very excited for our next season of Ember.