Growth is Achieved Through Feedback

 Photo by Neal Fowler

Photo by Neal Fowler

Organizations grow for many reasons: to hit quarterly earnings estimates, to be able to serve more customers in need, to fulfill the vision of their founders, to keep up with the competition. Recently, I experienced another reason: our faith teaches that growth is essential.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself at the Good Samaritan Society national campus in Sioux Falls. During a Bible study at Devotions, we studied 2 Peter 1:3-15.  It teaches that God empowers and enables growth, but we have the responsibility to learn and to grow in our faith. We talked about how a particularly powerful tool for growth is feedback, and how human we all are when we struggle to be truly open to it.

Perhaps not a coincidence, the following day I would be facilitating a session for the Vivo team, the Good Samaritan Society's innovation team, where they would get feedback on themselves for nearly 8 hours straight. They asked for it, literally, and heard feedback from interviews we conducted with a sampling of their customers across the organization, from admired firms, and from each other.

The Vivo team lives the message that growth is essential; that they facilitate the Society fulfilling its responsibility to improve their services and care to the last, the lost and the least.  The Vivo problem-solving approach, design thinking, promotes growth through feedback: listen to people’s needs, experiment with a solution, learn from the experiment, make it better and then repeat. Always looking to the person you’re serving for feedback. They practiced what they preach, by using this methodology on themselves.

Why Grow?  Because constantly looking to improve oneself - both in our faith and in the way we use our faith to serve others – is essential.