I had a conversation with a co-worker a few weeks back and we talked about whether or not perfection was the goal of any production. After writing a blog post, then thinking some more about it, I have another idea.
If making things distraction-free is just another way of saying perfect, how can we avoid the idea of perfectionism?
Maybe I just have a problem with the word “perfect”. What exactly is it? What does it apply to? How is it achieved? If we are talking about mics on and lights pointed at the right things and graphics being spelled correctly, then sure. Let’s make it perfect.
However, most of what we do in production can be subjective and the idea of “perfect” breaks down. What is the perfect mix? Perfect IMAG? What is the perfect service?
If perfection is the ultimate goal, how far are we willing to go? How redundant are our systems? Do we run a generator during every service just in case the power gets interrupted? Do we buy two of everything just in case? Should everyone know how everything works so that everyone can know the answers to every possible question? Should we stay all night and rearrange the stage to make it “perfect”?
The list of things we could do to eliminate risk and ensure perfection would be a never-ending list, but most of us don’t have the many resources. Time. People. Money. And no amount of either of these three things ensures perfection.
This is where I really love the idea of excellence over perfection.
“Doing the best with what you have.” is one way to define excellence. This really helps put things in perspective. You can only do your best, which sometimes might appear as perfection. This concept takes into account all the things that you’ve never experienced before, and it factors in the reality that stuff breaks. It considers the skills of your team and the type of equipment you have.
Another definition of excellence is “being better today than yesterday.” This considers learning from mistakes and new experiences each day to keep getting better and better.
From another perspective, what are you characterized by? Do the same mistakes happen over and over again? Are technical distractions the norm for you? Or are these isolated incidents that only stick out because your congregation is so used to the amazing distraction-free environment that you create on a weekly basis?
So the goal isn’t perfection, but doing your best, and being better today than yesterday…which hopefully includes things being flawless.