Leading Others Through Change – Mike Hill
Craig Groeschel delivers an absorbing opening session at the 2020 GLS.
Sketching the development curve of most organisations, he goes on to challenge leaders to “lead through the dip.”
His point? Any organisation that is in a low spot of their development curve needs the right kind of leadership.
It’s not difficult to see why this is a message for such a time as this. Covid 19 has impacted many organisations – some positively, many negatively.
When the pandemic does begin to recede and vaccinations are underway, many organisations, especially churches, are uncertain as to what impact this might create. Most agree that whatever normal looks like at that point, it will be better described as a “new normal.”
In his session, Craig helpfully addresses the fact that most organisations, not least churches, find the idea of change very difficult to process. And yet there are many kinds of change that most of us are clearly able to negotiate – marriage, job changes, leaving home, growing older, etc, etc.
So why does institutional change become such an issue for many groups?
Craig has a take on this that I have never heard so clearly articulated: “People don’t hate change – they hate the way we try to change them.”
You may have pushed back when someone has tried to change you in a way that you dislike. I think of the attempts of my parents to try and bring me under some kind of control! Or the marriages where the unspoken strategy is “if he/she changed things would be different around here!”
In the days when I was in local church ministry, I thought about change a lot. I tried to study the whole process – how to do it well and what to avoid. How might I get from A to B? How might I deal with opposition? How willing am I to be changed?
Here are a few things that I picked up along the way.
- Build trust. People will find it much easier to risk change if they trust in you and, by implication, trust your leadership attempts.
- Spend time explaining why the change is necessary. Sometimes simply projecting the outcomes of guarding the status quo can be enough. The seductive lie is that “no change means no change”. Staying as you are can quickly become a symptom of atrophy.
- Guard values. You can change many things but I would caution against changing core beliefs (values).
- Gain alignment. Build your team with people who are culturally aligned with what you want to do and also the way that you want to achieve it.
- Listen to critics. I don’t believe there are any organisational changes that can be made without opposition. Listen to people who are against your plans. They can sometimes make them better!
- Communicate consistently. Constantly clarify why you are doing what you are doing.
- Invest energy and money in the process of change. I well recall taking some critics in the church minibus to see a contemporary service (that they thought they hated!) in another church. Their eyes were opened (at least a bit).
- Celebrate – each and every breakthrough along the way.
These are just some things to think about. Do get to the GLS and hear Craig. Trust me, there is a lot more for you to hear!
You can register now for our January sessions, why not Book Now
We would love to see you there and are confident that this is the best value leadership learning around. It will equip, inspire, and encourage you.
Don’t miss it!
With grateful thanks for reading this and for what you are achieving.
GLN UK/IRE Church and External Relations Co-ordinator