Reduce redundancy and repetition by setting up systems that allow you to have visibility to everything going on while staying hands off and letting your team do their job.

Today's Show Notes

You can find more resources and articles from Rachel at

Rachel and her team at Copper Hive Consulting offer coaching to churches and nonprofits with a focus on operational strategy and structure. She also has an expansive network of freelancers who specifically prefer serving nonprofits and with whom she shares contract position opportunities. Schedule a free discovery call with Rachel to find the right coach or to share your job opportunities with the freelance network.


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Today’s Topic

  • First of all, do you even have systems in place?
  • Analyze the level of health in your current functionality
    • We are always a legend in our own minds and convinced we have superb systems
  • Put away your ego for a minute and look through your church with fresh eyes. Better yet, get someone else to do this with you or for you
  • ***(Create a free download with this assessment)
  • You probably have very impressive leaders all around you who lead at high levels in their company or industry.
  • Today we are going to focus on these three systems:
    • Decision-making (and approvals)
    • Feedback and accountability
    • Project workflows
  • There are other areas to dig into, but you’ve got to take baby steps. We have a link in the show notes to a longer assessment you can do with your leadership team and use it as a blueprint to get feedback from business leaders in your circle.

Decision making and approvals

  • Traffic light system - red, yellow, green
  • How much control do you need?
  • Have you defined your 3, 6 and 12-month goals?
    • When your team thoroughly understands where they are headed it will help them filter ideas and opportunities
  • How much of a micro manager are you? You have to get feedback from the people who work FOR you.
  • How do you feel about mistakes?
  • Kanban and workflow systems - BASIC
    • What are the checkpoints where ideas, projects are reviewed?
    • Who or what are potential bottlenecks?

Accountability & Feedback

  • What kind of feedback culture do you have?
    • Periodic assessments and that’s where the truth comes out?
    • Weekly team or individual meetings with truthful feedback
  • Are your managers able to hold people accountable
    • Are there any repercussions for unmet deadlines or off-target branding and missional alignment
    • I don’t mean punishment - I am talking about a conversation. About an honest check in and a clarification of expectations.
    • Share the story of client who saw me ask for feedback instead of taking charge.
  • Managers need to be able to stay organized and have the tough conversations. (They aren’t tough when you do them with respect and grace, but with clear expectations.)

Project Workflows

  • I have an idea… tell a story of how to engage top tier donors. I prepared a proposal - spent two weeks on it. I turned it in and never heard another word. No feedback telling me it was a horrible idea or presentation. Just nothing. Ever.
  • How motivated do you think your team is when that is the pattern?
  • How do they know what the next step is? 
  • Some of what you do in your ministry doesn’t follow a set workflow that can be described in a diagram or on a kanban board.
  • BUT much of it does. Let’s use a fundraising campaign for a church.
    • All church campaign for a multisite church
    • Copywriting and graphics chosen.
    • Comm or marketing director approval with a deadline
    • Campus pastors (key stakeholders) approval because they know how their community will respond
    • Edits are suggested.
    • Edits made with a deadline
    • Final draft shared with all staff so they know comm before the masses
    • Schedule and send
  • These don’t need to be written out, but they are helpful to establish consistency AND to be able to assess and make changes to workflows.

You definitely need to involve other people in determining the efficacy of your current systems.

Prior to integrating freelancers into your culture you must understand how the flow will work. They can’t set that up for you and both of you will end up frustrated. 

Utilize the free download we have provided to help you analyze your systems. Once you get this in place your project-based contractors are going to thrive with the instruction and framework you set up.

Resource Links

Blog: 10 Steps to Effective Systems

Book: Measure What Matters

***Amazon products purchased may result in affiliate commissions for Rachel Stewart.

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