Facility Stewardship Requires Creative Thinking

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A must-read in today’s fast-paced world is John Maxwell's book, How Successful People Think, a book I read a few years ago that I have thought about since. Maxwell’s book delves into various aspects of thinking. But what caught my attention the most was his section on creative thinking.

Upon flipping to the first page, I saw a quote from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi: "The joy is in creating, not maintaining." At first, I found myself disagreeing with this perspective, especially in the context of Facility Stewardship. After all, when we look at the total cost of ownership of a facility over 40 years, a significant portion—71-85%—is dedicated to operations and maintenance, not necessarily creation.

Power of Creative Thinking

Despite my initial reservations, I decided to press on with the book, and I'm grateful I did. John Maxwell elaborated on the importance of creative thinking, and that's a concept I wholeheartedly support. It's a concept that isn't emphasized enough in the realm of Facility Stewardship. While maintaining our facilities is undeniably crucial for our organizations' financial and operational sustainability, it doesn't mean that those of us entrusted with this stewardship should put our minds in a stagnant, complacent "maintenance" state. Far from it!

In fact, I would argue that we need to elevate our creative thinking. Most facility professionals I encounter, especially those in the church community, grapple with significant facility challenges. They must become experts in creative thinking to find intentional ways to address these challenges within shrinking budgets, reduced staff, and ever-growing deferred maintenance issues.

5 Principles of Creative Thinking

In his book, Maxwell outlined five highly relevant principles for creative thinking professionals in facility management.

Creative Thinkers Value Ideas

Here, we should embrace continuous learning. This can be done so by reading, asking questions, studying, and seeking new and improved ways to accomplish tasks.

Creative Thinkers Don't Fear Failure

Be open to failure and embrace it as a path to learning and success. You can't learn from mistakes if you don't make any. If you never try new things, you'll never have the chance to fail and learn.

It Adds Value to Everything

Creativity allows you to see what everyone else sees but think what nobody else has thought, enabling you to do what nobody else has done.

Creative Thinking Draws People to You and Your Ideas

In short, creativity is intelligence that is having fun. People are naturally drawn to those who are enjoying what they do and having a good time.

It Challenges the Status Quo

Avoid the trap of "we've always done it that way." Break free from convention, think outside the box, and remember that creativity and innovation go hand in hand.

Facility Stewardship and Creative Thinking

In conclusion, if you've been entrusted with the stewardship of your facilities, you owe it to your team, leaders, and yourself to infuse creativity into your thinking. Surround yourself with individuals who share this mindset and collaborate on innovative solutions.

In today's dynamic world, these principles are essential for success in Facility Stewardship. To help you expand your thinking, we have several free resources that are available to you and your team. Think creatively. Be intentional. Onward!

Tim Cool
Chief Executive Officer
Tim Cool is the founder of Smart Church Solutions and takes great pride in helping churches optimize their facilities. When he’s not at the helm of his company, he’s dedicated to his family, being a husband to Lisa and a father to 27-year-old triplets. An enthusiast of the outdoors, Tim enjoys the simplicity of hiking in the North Carolina mountains.