Saturday, September 6, 2008

Take Action

As I look at the steps to leading change, now it the time to move to action. To this point urgency has been created, the change team is collected, a vision and plan have been established, and communication of the plan is under way. Now the change process must be implemented.

The first thing to be done at this point is to remove obstacles to change, or even obstacles to new, innovative and creating work. Realizing there are things standing in the way which might be good, but are in the way of what is great and optimal for life and the organization. The removal of these obstacles can be as simple of a reallocation of time, it could mean the elimination of an activity, it could mean dismissal of staff, or it might mean changing the way you lead. As one might guess each of these carries different types and weights of baggage. Adjusting a schedule is easier than making changes to personnel. However, change is not going to happen is obstacles are allowed to be obstacles.

As the obstacles are being removed it is important to recognize the change might involve structural, or philosophical changes. In an organization, the management structure might work against the change that is trying to be put into place. Likewise the underlying mindset of the organization might be in the way of change. There needs to be a willingness to change, even to the core understandings and structure. In the life of the individual this might mean changing the way you have always done it.

Freedom is the last part in this phase of change. People need to be allowed the freedom to try new things. To take a chance without the threat of punishment if things do not work out well. I like to thing of this as the experimental stages. In our own lives and in the lives of organizations there needs to be room for experimental work to take place. This is the place where innovators and non-traditional thinkers thrive, leaderships responsibility is to let them.

Once the action steps are underway, new obstacles will arise. We must do what we can to remove those obstacles. Before we remove them however, we must first test them to see if God is placing an obstacle in front of us. The obstacle might be a warning, or a prompting from God to follow after Him. In all the change process, God is in charge, not humanity.

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