Thursday, October 2, 2008

How do you like change?

My company is hosting a seminar on Thursday October 16, at Huntersville UMC. The theme of the seminar is "Welcome Home"-we're focusing on creating environments that connect people to Christ. We were the design-builder of HUMC, so I thought it appropriate that we have our next seminar there. If you would like more information, check out our company website or leave a comment.

As lead church consultant for JHB, I'm responsible for organizing the whole seminar, but I'm also leading two workshops: one entitiled "The Hospitality Factor", the other, "Leadership for Change". I'll be posting more on hospitality in the future, but my son asked me an interesting question at supper last night that bears reflection - it's all about change.

Out of the blue, he asked, "Dad, what's your favorite season?" Without hesitating, I replied "The next one." He asked if I meant Fall or Winter. I replied "Neither - I mean whatever the next season is. Today, it's Fall. If you ask me in late November, the answer will be Winter." I then replied, "I like to see the seasons change because that mean's something new is coming."

Change, even as regular as the seasonal changes (at least in NC), is constant. I've been a student and practioner of change for a long time. One of the best resources for understanding change is William Bridges' "Managing Transitions". Don't let the title fool you: the first sentence explains the premise of the rest of the book: It isn't the changes that do you in; it's the transitions. Bridges sees change as situational-the new job, new boss, new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation.

Transition starts with an ending, letting go of something. After letting go, you enter the neutral zone, the no-man's land between the old reality and the new. A new beginning completes the transition, as they mark a time of commitment to a new reality, to be the new person the new situation demands.

So it's Fall, and change is in the air, literally and figuratively.

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