Change is necessary when a discrepancy occurs between an actual set of events-something that is happening right now-and a desired set of events-what you would like to happen.
– From “Leading From a Higher Level” by Ken Blanchard
We all hate change, but change is imperative if we are to grow in our relationships, our business success, as leaders, as parents, and as Christ-Followers.
Have you asked yourself:
- Am I where I want to be in 5 years?
- Am I the type of parent or spouse I need to be?
- Is my business where it should be?
- Am I the type of Christ-follower God wants me to be?
- Am I in the physical or emotional shape I need to be?
If your answer to these questions are “no,” then change is in your future. That’s not a comforting thought, because as humans, we don’t like change because change causes friction and discomfort. But change is necessary to get us from where we are to where we want to be or where God wants us to be.
When you apply change at an organizational level, the reverb of that change can be devastating on how a leader goes about leading the change. Your organization could be a company of people you lead or it could be your family or school committee. Most all of us will be in a position to lead others through change.
In the book “Leading From a Higher Level,” the Blanchard team addresses 15 Reasons why change efforts fail. Here they are as they are listed in the book.
- People leading the change think that announcing the change is the same as implementing it.
- People’s concerns with change are not surfaced or addressed.
- Those being asked to change are not involved in planning the change.
- There is no compelling reason to change. The business case is not communicated.
- A compelling vision that excites people about the future has not been developed and communicated.
- The change leadership team does not include early adopters, resisters, or informal leaders.
- The change is not piloted, so the organization does not learn what is needed to support the change.
- Organizational systems and other initiatives are not aligned with the change.
- Leaders lose focus or fail to prioritize, causing “death by 1,000 initiatives.”
- People are not enabled or encouraged to build new skills.
- Those leading the change are not credible. They under communicate, give mixed messages, and do not model the behaviors the change requires.
- Progress is not measured, and/or no one recognizes the changes that people have worked hard to make.
- People are not held accountable for implementing the change.
- People leading the change fail to respect the power of the culture to kill the change.
- Possibilities and options are not explored before a specific change is chosen.
The response of someone from the paradigm of one who change is being implemented on will look at these change killers and say “yep…seen those reasons for change not happening in my world.”
Someone who is the role as the change agent might look at this list and feel overwhelmed.
The Blanchard team says that if you can effectively address the first 3 reasons the rest will follow suit.
As Andy Stanley put it: Direction, not intention determines your destination. In life, our direction will have to change in order to arrive to our desired destination. When we are not on a path to take us to that destination, change is necessary.