Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Making it Stick

This is the last installment of the leading change blogs. At this point in the change process many things are beginning to look different. The changes are no longer reserved to small things, and the people around the organization have begun to adapt to a culture of change. For the individual at this point changes have taken place and there is already tangible evidence of your transformation as a person. So what more could possibly need to be done?

The final step is putting measures into place which ensure the changes last. For the organization this means leadership. As Jim Collins would put it, having the right people on the bus, and in the right seats. Not just current leadership however, there must be a plan to develop more leaders. Organizations cannot have enough quality leaders. Please note the qualifier there, quality. Too many leaders can be akin to too many cooks in the kitchen if the leaders do not really understand the role and life of a leader. If leaders are only positional leaders, see John Maxwell 5 levels of leadership, they are not always willing to follow at the right times. Quality leaders are developed intentionally, and the organization which invests in developing leaders will endure, and be a culture if change.

For the individual, steps must be take to keep the changes in place. This often takes the form of habits and regular activities. The most important tool to making change stick in our lives is accountability. Most of us do not have the capacity to hold ourselves accountable on every front, we need help. This is where the group that helps initiate and encourage the change comes in. They also need to be the people who hold you accountable to the ground you have already covered. For me this is my covenant group which meets monthly as a minimum, other times as needed.

Change is inevitable. The question is whether the change will move toward life, or toward death. Remember, death is a change. Change which produces life is not happenstance, change which brings life is intentional and must be thought through carefully. I think John Kotter has given us an excellent outline of how to work through change. I encourage all of you to read his words in Leading Change

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