A lot of innovation is about asking the right question. If a question is too narrow then a lot of the time the solution will not be that innovative, rather it will be a slightly better version of what already exists. For example, some years ago several companies were trying to innovate in the area of vacuum cleaners. They seemed to be asking a question about how they could better suck dirty air through a bag and extract the dust. This led to different bag designs and larger motors. Dyson asked a larger question, perhaps something like, how can we best clean floors? This resulted in an innovative solution, a vacuum cleaner without a bag, a design that others are now copying.
In this post I want to highlight a new tool that I believe is answering a larger question and is therefore innovative. It is the exciting new planning and resource tool from Youth For Christ. Though I am no expert, it seems to me that there are three important elements to planning a great youth session:
- Find or create a number of great activities or studies
- Bring all of them together into one cohesive plan
- Communicate it to, and involve, other leaders
It would have been possible to consider any one of the questions on its own. The result could have been better resources, or an easier way of accessing them. It might resulted in a new planning tool. YFC have, however, asked a bigger question about how youth leaders plan an event and created a tool which answers the whole problem, from beginning to end.
The result is a fantastic online portal which makes planning great youth events easier and quicker. It shows that asking the right question and properly understanding the challenges that people are facing is critical when it comes to innovating and creating something new and exciting.
Why not head over to YFC Resources, sign up for a free account and give it a try. Even if you are not a youth leader, I think you will be impressed! Here’s a tutorial if you want a basic idea of how the site works:
For another post on the innovation happening at YFC, see this post.