Your Church’s Chief Innovation Officer

“…because these people are good for business. They are highly prized in the marketplace. Carson reports that big corporations like Coca-Cola, DuPont, Citigroup, and Humana have recently created the position of CIO – chief innovation officer – as part of their leadership structure. Accordingly, business schools like Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Yale now offer courses on creativity as part of their curricula. And Fortune 500 companies – including PepsiCo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aetna and Marriott – are putting employees through creativity training programs to help non-eccentrics open their minds to out-of-the-box thoughts and stimuli that might otherwise be ignored or suppressed. Creativity is a highly sought-after commodity in the global market.”

Shelley Caron 

“The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric,” 

Scientific American, May 2011. 

Quote above is from Missioner Michael Frost 

in his recent book Keep Christianity Weird,” pp.15-16.

What? Major companies with long-term solid track records are hiring CIOs to help them become more innovative. What’s this mean?

The Role of Pastoral Leadership Is Different Now

For quite some time, we at Pinnacle have been describing and recommending a new archetype of effective pastoral leadership here in the 21st century – Faith Change Agent (Find a description in Farming Church: Cultivating Adaptive Change In Congregations). There was a time when Statesman-like pastors who were establishment oriented and skilled in creating stable and resilient systems, were the preferred and effective leadership archetype. Under the stable conditions of the church in North America in 1990 and before, this kind of pastoral leadership flourished.

But now, when major companies are looking for Chief Innovation Officers, we are in a high change environment. Being the picture of stability when adaptation is needed to survive and thrive turns counter-productive. Instead, God’s Church needs pastors and lay leaders who know how to navigate the white-waters of change, leading us to adapt to the world as it is this century.

So thank you big companies for modeling proactive adaptation by securing CIOs. Now may congregations and denominations value the kind of leadership needed for this time and place; for the story we find ourselves in now.

Mark Tidsworth, President

Pinnacle Leadership Associates

Mark Tidsworth