by Rusty Rueff
“But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment.”
I was humbled to have had a phone conversation with an entrepreneur who told me of the story of how he created his product inside of a larger organization. It was not his original purpose or calling to be doing what he is doing today, but because of his product he has far-flung influence and impact across a wide array of people and organizations. As he was speaking to me he talked about the importance of delivering operational excellence and predictable consistency in a service and product, but we also discussed the downside of that approach in that our customers and consumers can become “bored” or feel like they are in a “rut” because they get the same thing, the same experience, time after time and while they feel comfortable in that delivery, they like all of us, may try something else because they just are looking for a change every now and then. So, this entrepreneur has begun to think about how to deliver “systematic surprises”. These are surprises that keep the offering fresh and exciting, but behind the scenes there is no extra strain on the “system” so that these moments of surprise can be delivered flawlessly and with excellence. This is no small task and one that demands thoughtfulness and deliberation. But, I know this, that with this type of thinking and action, it is a winning strategy.
We are like this as God’s messengers in the workplace. Without our consistency, discipline and predictability we can’t be the witnesses that we are called to be, but we also can’t be boring or come across as stuck in our ways. The beauty of what we are taught (and challenged to do) is that we can deliver systematic surprises each and every day with acts of kindness, generosity, encouragement and the giving of ourselves to others. There are tons of examples but imagine that today you were to leave a handwritten note of encouragement or gratitude on a co-worker’s desk so that it was the first thing they see tomorrow morning? If that thought warms a little something inside of you, then that is the type of systemic surprise that you can be.
Reference: Acts 24:4 (New Living Translation)