Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leading Change

Change is a constant reality. Not only that, but the rate of change is increasing exponentially. How do you handle change?

John Kotter has written some great works on change; "Leading Change" is the best of a trilogy of works on change. "Help, My Iceberg is Melting" takes the content of "Leading Change" and puts in a fable about a group of penguins on an iceberg. "A Sense of Urgency" focuses in on the first of his change principles. Here is a summary of Kotter's 8 step process:

1. Create a Sense of Urgency.Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.
2. Pull Together the Guiding Team. Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change—one with leadership skills, bias for action, credibility, communications ability, authority, analytical skills.
3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy. Clarify how the future will be different from the past, and how you can make that future a reality.
4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in. Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.
5. Empower Others to Act. Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.
6. Produce Short-Term Wins. Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.
7. Don’t Let Up. Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with instituting change after change until the vision becomes a reality.
8. Create a New Culture. Hold on to the new ways of behaving, and make sure they succeed, until they become a part of the very culture of the group.

One of the paradoxes of the church today is that it demands continual innovation yet often resists change. Understanding how to lead through change is a great skill all leaders need to have - especially in ChurchWorld.
How's your Leadership Change Quotient?

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