Oh no..

Have you ever seen this reaction? The big question is coming up, there is a need for change and the leaders go “Oh no!”

Changes are always happening: I get older, my children grow up, the weather changes, the world is in a constant change. It’s a law that there will be change. Summer, fall, winter and spring. Day and night, there is an ongoing change in the world and so in our life.

I was very close to my grandmother and we, for a time, lived in the same house, but change came and she got promoted. I have seen four children being born, and that changes things around.

So lets just say that things will change, so why do we then meet it with “Oh no!” ?

Let’s meet it with “Good, what are the opportunities?” .

Well, that’s easy to say in a two dimensional world, but we are more than that aren’t we? Feelings, emotions, friendships, you name it, make it difficult when things change. When a good friend of mine, who had been in our community for a long time, decided to move on, I felt it. I got sad, denied it and was a bit depressed over it until I saw a bigger picture and the beauty of this man moving on doing what he had on his heart!

All organizations, companies and churches need to constantly go through changing processes. I have to say for me this (most of the time) excites me and I love to see changes happening. I am an entrepreneur and pioneer so, after a while, I need to hand things over to others who can develop them more, who are more professional than me and can take things more into systems and operational leadership.

Changes are needed and we often resist them for too long. We think that what worked yesterday works today or that we need to use a method that has been proven in some other ministry and we just ‘copy and paste’ – this never works!

The process of change in an organization means finding the best of their DNA, and throwing away what doesn’t belong to the vision and our values, or simply is holding us back.

John Maxwell said that everything falls or stand on leadership!

What’s our DNA? Vision should reflect it, whether we work with students or children. It’s why are we doing what we do, instead of desperately trying to meet the needs we see. Our ‘DNA’ or motives, could be to help people, to develop their potential, or could have religious significance.

How do we recognize what is stopping us? Firstly, as I have written about many times, I strongly believe that without a team of peers we will not experience growth. Peers have a strong influence on us and are needed for our personal growth and our ministry growth. Leadership is often to facilitate places for peers to come together and have constructive and meaningful talks.

We need to empower people, not micro manage from a top down position. I find that this can often be a problem for leaders, it can have to do with lack of trust, lack of confidence or just not being able to let things go. It always leads to stagnation and, if change is not happening, it leads to death.

How can we change? I strongly believe that big changes can be hard and painful, but we can also work with them in a different way – getting people on board, casting vision and empowering people. The hard part is when we don’t see the gray zones, or we just force it through at any cost.

If we work with people, casting vision and empowering them to be better, then change can be fun!

Most of the time, start with identifying DNA/vision/purpose. When that has been done, ask the difficult questions like “What is holding us back? Is it our culture as a entity, is it leadership, is it lack of quality and professional people?”. Name some of the different things that you see, or others see (often others see things with different eyes) .

Then raise the question “How do we change that?” All changes have a price. Are you willing to lead through a process of change? Though it may hurt your feelings and emotions, it will touch your pride, but do you see the end result? The beautiful end result of our organization, church or business on the other side in a new fresh look? Do you see that? If so, you can endure a lot, assured that you’ll reach the goal.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

– Maria Robinson

Change in my life often starts with one thing at a time. I stopped drinking soda many years ago, to get a more healthy lifestyle. I only stopped drinking soda, I did not go on a diet or anything else. I knew that soda was goal number one, and later I made some changes in my diet.

In organizations, we often cannot only change one thing but large areas, like marketing, leadership structure, changes in the operation, changes in organizational culture. You name the big subjects that you see, and then decide to work on them with your team.

You will have three main categories of people. The ones that want to keep as much as possible of the old. They are concerned about continuity, “it worked before”, and are lacking a bit of imagination for new things.

You will have a group that says “I don`t mind, what ever works, let just get it over with”. They are more operational, we have a lot of work to be done, and no time for this.. or in the worst case, not interested in the work at all.

The third category they love new things, and are triggered by new fresh vision and love seeing new things happen. Often they are innovative and full of inner drive. Their problem is that they may not be able to work it all through. A lot of ideas and words, but lacking in action.

It is always a risk to take, but those that are innovative need to be released to do so, and those that like things to be more stable need stability created in the important things, giving room for new freshness.

Change for the sake of freshness!

Till next time, enjoy times of change,

Rune Saether

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