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Changing Gears

The only people who like change are the ones who are trying to change you.  No one likes for their world to change if they are enjoying it.  Whether you are talking about a spiritual life or a favorite dish at a restaurant…if they are in love with it they don’t want you messing with it.  We all know that change is necessary for growth but it still makes us uncomfortable.  How many sermons and talks do we have to hear on change before we embrace it?  I have no idea.

We leaders and communicators talk about it like it’s as easy as pie.  We act like those who need to change should do it just because we say it’s the necessary thing…but when it comes to change in our own lives, we find that our feet feel glued to the ground and we are in need of a serious prod as well.  Here are some insights on change…and today my mind is equating organizations, families, churches, etc. with engines or vehicles.

  • Change is NEVER easy.  There is a comfort in a pattern learned, but the lane you are in may be leading to mediocrity.  Just remember that change is only setting another pattern.
  • Wheelies are cool but they can leave you on your backside.  Wholesale quick change isn’t always the answer.  Speed changes made consistently over a period of time can lead to a great result without organizational whiplash.  Another way to look at it is the difference in a corner vs. a curve.  Fast corners can put people in the ditch.  The only exception to this is in the case of an integrity issue.  If someone is stealing from your organization I wouldn’t go to them say, “we are going to taper you off of your slush fund slowly.”
  • Don’t expect too much to quickly…If you start out in 5th gear your people will stall out mentally.  Rather if you change in segments they will stay with you.
  • Communicate personally before changing organizationally.  If followers can hear the engine winding out in a gear, they can be ready for the change.  Surprise change without prior communication is a great way to lose followers.
  • Don’t compromise relationship.  No one wants to hear of change concerning them from six departments down the hall or from the public.  Only toy operators drive with a remote…people are not toys.

I am sure there are many other analogies that can be associated with changing the gears of an organization. I would love to hear your ideas and comments…the track is waiting and my body needs to change gears.

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