Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Change Challenge

The single greatest enemy of progress is not what may seem to be the most obvious answer. There are those who would say that finances slow or stop progress. Others point to a lack of human capital. As John Kotter points out in his book Leading Change, the great force stopping transformation is complacency. People are too satisfied with where things are at, or they are not willing to risk the dysfunction they have for the sake of what could be.

Now this is a corporate and individual challenge. For the individual there is a failure to realize their situation and the situation around them has changed. When complacency sets in for the individual there is a lack of desire to learn and grow. There is no desire to develop more of the gifts and abilities God has given them. The complacent individual simply exists in the same mode they did years before. For the group of individuals, corporation or church, complacency manifests in different ways. It is not uncommon for that ugly phase to show up, "This is how we always do it". Organizations refuse to make changes necessary for the long-term health of the organization. The mindset becomes one of preservation, and making sure to hold on just long enough to get me though.

A simple truth, If we do not change now, we will not exist to change later. Change is inevitable, the question is will the change bring life or death? Over the next few days I will be exploring what it takes to change as an individual as well as an organization. The base for my journey will be John Kotter's book Leading Change.

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