January 5, 2015

A Lesson the Church Can Learn from Mattel in the New Year

In a front page story in The Wall Street Journal on December 23, Paul Ziobro reports that Mattel has several new corporate rules:

  1. No meeting is to be held without a specific purpose.
  2. No more than 10 people should participate unless the meeting is for training purposes.
  3. There should be no more than a total of three meetings to make any decision.
Ziobro reports that the new rules are part of an effort by the Chief Executive to overhaul a culture of conference rooms and Powerpoint presentations so the company can get back to thinking about toys.

The article immediately made me think of my many years of employment by the church and the thousands of meetings I have attended.  Several were purposeful, had the right persons present, and quickly made appropriate decisions.

What if ... I thought to myself, we only held meetings that were needed for a specific purpose.  We could focus on the purpose, discuss the best solutions, and come to a decision and go home.

What if ... we authorized the key people to be present (always less than ten) and to brainstorm, discuss the pros and cons of various options, and make a decision that would be supported by the church.

What if ... we did not discuss the same issue at every monthly meeting for a year or two; and then start all over again when new members joined the committee.  What if we could make a decision and then begin to implement it immediately.

I like the Mattel rules and think that there are many churches that would do well to consider implementing them.