The Tipping Point

Yesterday my family of five traveled over 920 miles by car. It was pretty much my limit of driving in one day with children. They did very well. Almost no fighting or crying. We don’t even travel with a DVD player. Amazing trip. We left very early in the morning and arrived very early the next morning. We drove through ran and traffic, and flat Florida landscape.

We did not start out with the plan to do that. We wanted to get south of Atlanta and find a hotel. We hit Atlanta right at rush hour, and pushed on. We made it through and decided to try for Macon. And then we kept going. Somewhere between Macon and Voldosta it became silly to consider stopping, paying for a hotel, just to get up and drive such a short distance the next day.

Somewhere we reached a point where the cost of stopping became more than the cost of continuing. At that point, we never looked back. (We did look for a Sonic that was still open, but…)

Driving change in any organization is a series of tipping points. There comes a point in each process that where it is harder to go back than to keep going forward. As a leader, I sometimes feel like my whole job is giving little pushes, as processes approach the tipping point.

For example, when we were considering producing a 30-minute TV program, we talked about it for a while. Months, in fact. We talked about content, and production, and cost and outlets. But we only talked about it. Last year we were given a major opportunity regarding a 30-minute program. We were on the brink. We just needed a little shove. I went back to my team, we talked, and I put together a proposal that was presented. Not only did we take the opportunity offered, but we added a second outlet. It was always a good idea. But we had never been so close to the tipping point before. One little push, and almost a year later it is harder to stop doing the 30-minute program than to keep doing it.

What ideas are approaching the tipping point in your ministry? Are you ready to push a little?