What You Don't See Is What You Get

July 12, 2018


Gordon McKenzie was a VP at Hallmark, a position he attained after many years in the creative departments at the company. His book Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace is one of the best leadership books I've ever read. Filled with personal stories, drawings, and scribbles, McKenzie offers poignant lessons of working in a corporate culture and doing so with a sense of humor.

In a chapter on the invisible nature of creativity ("What You Don't See Is What You Get"), McKenzie invites the reader to imagine a corporate suit yelling at a herd of cows brow-beating them into productivity. This insensitive dolt doesn't realize that the cows are at work. The digestive process (invisible to us) is at work and the cows are making milk. So much of what a cow does is stand in a field and eat. Their productivity is unseen by humans. 

The above visual (McKenzie's) shows how the process of creativity (producing art or milk) is so often "hidden" in a series of actions that eventually culminate in some product. The vast majority of the creative process is hidden or unseen. Brain research indicates that daydreaming is a critical part of creativity and intellectual vitality. We need to be dreaming, thinking, processing.


The Ministry Information Study team had It's first meeting this week. Peter Sylves, Kay Tilton, David Wuchina, and I make up the team. (David wasn't present due to his joining the bike mission trip.) The four of us will be gathering data and information about the congregation (membership, finances, worship attendance) and the community (demographics, economic status, lifestyle preferences). This information will be used when the church begins it's search for a new pastor.


So much of what the Ministry Information Study team will do will be invisible. You won't see the data collection or community analysis we'll do... right away. Eventually we'll produce a report, a report that everyone can have. We'll be working a lot like the cows in the McKenzie anecdote: quietly digesting all we consume with the hope of making something of use fo the congregation and the Pastor Nominating Committee (when elected).

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Calvin Presbyterian Church

415 East Grandview Ave.
Zelienople PA 16063



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