If I was in charge of a telecommunications company…

Yes, this is one of those “If I was in charge, I’d do this…” posts.  Don’t we all have opinions on how companies should be run?  Just had these thoughts today so decided to write them down.  Canada is known as one of the worst places for mobile phone plans (from a consumer perspective), largely because of the lack of competition.  If by some freak cosmological accident I ended up in charge of a telecommunications company, here’s some things I’d do:

I’m not going to talk about pricing or packages or anything like that, because at the end of the day what matters most for company longevity is customer loyalty and word of mouth marketing (even more so in today’s hyper social world).  The only reasons why I think the existing companies are doing so well in Canada now are because of their entrenched position with infrastructure, and the lack of choice for consumers.  With that said,

1. I’d ensure that our company has some sort of automated process that scans existing customers accounts (ooo privacy, but bear with me) and if there are any current company promotions that are better plans (either in terms of the same as what they have but cheaper, or more features than what they have for same price) than what the customer currently has we automatically switch them to the cheaper plan and notify them.

lurking vs. joining the conversation

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series 2011: A look back A look forward
In the continuation of the series I’ve been writing this last few days, here’s something I wrote as a part of my New Year’s post at the beginning of last year:
I’m going to comment and interact more on the internets.  Confession: I’m a lurker.

What happened :

I’m still a lurker for the most part although I have got involved in more discussions than I did the previous year.  I even have a few posts on this blog that grew out of comments I made elsewhere:

Merry Christmas 2010

Hey everyone, I hope your day is going well so far!  I love enjoying this time with my family and friends.  To all my readers, have a blessed Christmas and a very HAPPY New Year!

I’ve included for your reading the text of what I shared last night to my church family (modified a bit for the context here).  Enjoy!

We all know about Christmas. We all know that it’s commercial thing with a frenzy of gift buying and gift wanting, and “stuff” being exchanged. We all know that it’s a nostalgia thing, with the Christmas plays, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, tinsel, decorations, lights and carols, and movies we’ve seen every year. We know that Christmas is a food thing, the chocolates, the turkeys, the stuffing, the oranges, the baked goodies. Oh, the baked goodies.

There are many things we know Christmas for and many things we’ve become familiar with. Familiar. There’s danger in that. The danger of Christmas, the season, the event, is that we get so familiar we lose the wonder of what Christmas really represents. The wonder of the INCARNATION. It’s really not a word you hear too much. But it is a word that captures the wonder of what happened. God coming in flesh on this planet. Tonight, for just a few minutes, I hope to remind you of this wonder. To have you pause in awe at the majesty and significance of what can be robbed by the familiar.

a perspective on the church

About a month ago I read a great post by my friend John Pellowe touching on the whole subject of competition between Christian Ministries.  You should go read it then come back here.  It prompted a comment from me as follows:

I love the position you outline here about competition among ministries and it’s a great suggestion that leaders take the time and make the effort to align their own thoughts on competition.

I echo your thoughts on this. From a church perspective I’ve always thought of things from concentric ‘circles of participation’ perspective using the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12.

In other words (much better via diagram!):

The first circle: the believers in a local church all each have individual “parts” to play as a part of their local church body.

The second circle: the local churches in a community are all called to their community and have unique role as a part of the Christian church body within that community.

The third circle: The denominations at the national level each have unique roles within the body of the national church of Jesus Christ.

The fourth circle: The national church’s each have unique roles and callings as a part of the worldwide Christian church.

Bottom line: It’s about advancing Kingdom of God business, not a “I’m better than you” mentality.

Ministries, and churches, and Christian charities should always be working to discover, “What is the unique role or calling that God has given us as a part of His body and how can we do the best we can at that WHILE contributing to the work of His kingdom at large in the world?”

As I was writing this comment, I actually had an image of my mind that I was trying to describe.  Recently I came across a great tool that helps communicate that image.  And here it is:

Have you ever given thought to “competition” among Christian churches/ministries? Have you formulated a position about it? Please, share your thoughts as well!

It’s 2010 – Here’s to a New Year!

[image from flickr]

..and new decade – wow!  What was I doing 10 years ago?  Hmmm…I think I was doing an all-nighter with some youth in the church I was pastoring in Hanover.  Honestly, I can’t remember… which is probably not a good thing.  I actually caught myself saying to my 6 year old son tonight that in 40 years I will probably be dead.  Note to self: don’t tell your young child at his bedtime that you are going to die someday. It leads to a very long conversation.  Just saying.

I’m really looking forward to 2010 and this next decade.  From a tech point-of-view, the changes that I’ve experienced in the past 10 years are simply astounding! Of course there have been a lot of changes in my personal life as well.  I really can’t imagine what the next 10 years are going to bring!

As far as new years resolutions go, I’ve never really been one to make them – I guess I always think, why should I only resolve things only once a year?  It’s funny, but for me, my year tends to start in September, not January – must be something to do with having kids in school and pastoring a church…

New Website Release: VOHMalawi.org

Village of Hope Malawi Website ScreenshotA couple of days ago I released a new website that I designed for some friends of mine who are the new directors of the Village of Hope in Malawi, Africa.  David and Connie Buzikievich are an awesome couple who are following through with their offer to God to take them wherever He wants and use them however He wants.  Their example of selfless service is inspiring!

Ever since my short term missions trip to the Village of Hope in Zimbabwe my heart has been captured by the work the Village’s of Hope are doing in Africa to make a difference in children’s lives (and indeed in the communities where the Villages of Hope are planted!).  One of the exciting ways I’ve been able to contribute to the work they are doing is by hosting and designing websites for both the Village of Hope, Zimbabwe, and now the Village of Hope, Malawi.  Getting the word out and keeping supporters informed is always one of the bigger challenges facing those working at the Villages and doing this helps free time and resources for focusing on what they need to do.

A Day for Joy

In playing with a new service called Animoto I decided to create a short video highlighting one incident from my short-term missions trip to Zimbabwe in June 2007.  As part of that visit to the Village of Hope in Zimbabwe, I went to the “plots” which are a slum-like area with terrible living conditions that the workers from VOH go to every day to help feed the kids and give them some teaching. One day we passed out some toys we had brought with us. Their gratitude was priceless! I was ruined on this trip.

By the way, Animoto is a really cool app – you should check it out.  It only took me 15 minutes to make this vid.

You’ll think this isn’t possible!

This is creativity to the max!  I’m amazed at what these folks were able to do to buildings using some pretty cool projection techniques!  I want this for Christmas “lights” on my house this year…  (via BitRebel).