Human Capacity Optimization
What do we mean by human capacity optimization?
For us, Human Capacity Optimization is a way of describing spiritual formation, discipleship, and leadership development.
Why do we use an unusual term like “optimization” when describing these processes?
We use a different term (“optimization”) as a way of disrupting our normal patterns of thought when we hear the words “discipleship” or “leadership development.”
Optimization describes a process for making something as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.
This definition sounds a bit mathematical and sterile, but the process when dealing with people is an art.
So, let’s talk about this process.
I want to describe a few principles for Human Capacity Optimization. These principles have been extracted from our own action-oriented, field-based research.
Let’s think about learning as changed behavior.
When behavior changes, learning has happened.
When behavior remains the same, nothing has
Under this definition, how does learning happen?
Optimizing Human Performance happens through “lived” experience that requires not only a change of thinking but of actions and behaviors, moods and attitudes. Learning happens when these lived experiences have consequences, are urgent, and require repetition.
In contrast, for many, spiritual formation (as well as leadership development) happens in the head.
For example, we teach a principle or lesson in a Sunday service and expect the audience to be changed by it. Or, for example, we have a discipleship class.
Jesus is a person on a mission who calls others
to join him on his mission.
The contrast in these approaches begins to
explain why the end result is so radically different.
Jesus ended up with disciples.
We end up with members.
The desire to add an “action-based” process
to our leadership development arsenals was
the reason that, over the past 10 years,
The International Mentoring Network
experimented with multiple
tools for field-based, action-oriented spiritual
The main distinction of these tools is that they
happen largely on the field, not in the classroom or in a service. The leader of the group is less a teacher than a guide, a coach.
Here’s one thing we learned:
Motivated followers of Christ were relieved
by the opportunity to actually “do” what they
felt they needed to be doing all along.
Acting on their faith not only changed their
behaviors but their perspectives.
Here’s the principle:
changed behavior is guided best through
lived experience. Learning happens
in real time, real world action.
Immersive Experience that requires urgent action
activates the brain in such a way that can optimize human performance.
So, Here’s the question: what tools are you using
that focus in action-oriented, field-based equipping?
Here’s a suggestion: Make it an
Action-based, Immersive Experience.
More principles on the way…