This is the second part of a four part article on applying the Cross-pollinator persona from Tom Kelley’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation to churches and church leadership. Find Part One of this article.
Cross-pollinators are usually "T-shaped people". These are people
are deep in at least one field (the vertical part of the "T") while
simultaneously are knowledgable in many other fields (the horizontal
part). They can bring powerful insights and send shockwaves through an
organization as they bring in fresh ideas from the outside.
They are very often inspired and influenced by both the past and the
future. Many are history buffs who enjoy searching the past for the
knowledge and creativity of days gone by, wondering if perhaps
something long forgotten may need to be revived. They also might enjoy
reading science fiction, applying the insights of imagined futures to
I believe Cross-pollinators are needed desperately in the church.
Kelley writes in the book that sometimes a lack of resources is
actually the spark of innovation, because "business as usual" isn’t
working. When "business as usual" is not an option, it’s innovate or
die, "business as unusual" or "no business at all". Increasingly, the
church is coming into this kind of crisis, and that’s ultimately great
news. It’s forcing her to step out of her comfort zone and think again
about why she exists and how to spend her time and money.
Cross-pollinators are needed to be able to think freshly about the
mission of the church and how she might fulfill it in the postmodern
Part Three on Thursday: Wait a minute, should the church be cross-pollinating?