Looking Back to Look Ahead

Henry Petroski, a professor of civil engineering and history at Duke University, has a brilliant, innate talent to help people see the miraculous in the mundane. Author of twelve books including “The Evolution of Useful Things” and “Success Through Failure”, he has made it his calling to help the rest of us see the world through the eyes of the engineer.

I’m reading his book, The Essential Engineer, and this sentence stopped me cold:

Design is effectively proactive failure analysis

He was writing about the continual change in automobile design; how we can predict the changes coming in auto design by looking at what annoys us today or what features we wish it had or think it should have.

What a brilliant, simple statement!

Now apply it to ChurchWorld.

  • Are there things that aren’t working in your church?
  • By identifying what is still lacking in your church today, is it possible to predict what will be standard in your church tomorrow?

What are you designing for tomorrow that is a correction to today?

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