wePRAY – Recap
Welcome to November’s wePRAY! This month we’re continuing our focus on Dan Rockwell’s ‘7 Universal Competencies for Success’, by looking at the challenge of ‘leading change’. Throughout September our focus was on Relationships, in October we homed in on Developing People and now we’re looking at change! I’m sure that for some of you, the word change is enough to send shivers down your spine and a shudder through your soul! For others, it’s exciting and something to be welcomed!! Hopefully this month will provide you with food for thought and the impetus to respond appropriately!
Happy changing Reading!
7 Universal Competencies for Success: 3 – Lead Change:
If you type the word ‘change’ into google, a whopping 14.92bn results are generated in 0.64seconds! To give you a context ‘Brexit’ generates 707million results in the same time. I’ll leave it to you and your politics to decide if there is a sense of irony in that little experiment, but the results are clear. The idea of change is one which resonates with and challenges people. It’s something that people are thinking about, discussing and are engaging with, and yet the thought of change seemingly has a legacy of being difficult to implement, inducing a sense of uneasiness or promoting a reaction of abject fear!
Robin Williams, Comedian and Actor once said, ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas CAN change the world’. Martin Luther King Jr states, ‘Change does not roll in on the wheels of invisibility but comes through continuous struggle’ And here in a nutshell we find the extremes of both arguments. Words and ideas can change the world, but it’s not easy – it’s hard work.
This month we’re reflecting on the idea of leading change; willingly being at the forefront of driving something that we’ve recognised can be difficult for people, whether this be culture, practice, attitude or organisational direction.
Prior to diving into Rockwell’s thinking, it’s important to recognise and highlight some key realities of change. Effective change takes time and is a step by step process. It requires a ‘buy-in’ and an understanding that there are likely to be backwards steps at certain points as resistance or challenge occurs.
Psychologically speaking, change has 5 steps:
1) Pre-Contemplation (becoming aware of opportunities or challenges – developing a motivation to make a change)
2) Contemplation (better understanding of these opportunities or challenges – people start to push-back, weigh up whether it’s worthwhile etc…)
3) Preparation (willingness – requires a commitment and desire to follow through)
4) Action Stage (doing – this stage can take 1-6 months to bed in and can often be the stage where there is a lot of emotional wrestling with the value of change, and the vision needs to be kept at the forefront of people’s minds)
5) Maintenance Stage (settling – this is the stage where the desired behaviour is now reality and needs to be maintained).
It is in managing these 5 stages that long-term change is achieved. There aren’t any real short-cuts we can do to make it less challenging or easier… if we want change to be effective and impactful, these processes and steps need to be experienced.
Before we go further, it’s important to pause and remind ourselves that Dan Rockwell’s work is designed to underpin the work of organisational leaders and therefore his lessons are for this target audience. We are taking these lessons and seeing how we can apply them within our contexts.
Dan Rockwell’s approach to becoming a leader of change is simple:
1: Identify your clear vision
2: Ask ‘what are the changes you need to embrace to make this vision a reality’
3: Implement goals and targets which will help you achieve this
The reality is that whilst the approach is simple, the outworking is challenging. The key is in how we overlap both models (psychology and Rockwell). Psychologically speaking, if you approach a situation saying, ‘I have seen the problem, and I have discovered the solution’, you are likely to alienate those around you who may ask ‘what problem?’ You may have seen the problem and identified a solution; however, your role is to lead people, not drag them kicking and screaming behind you! You need to help them understand that there is a problem. You could highlight a certain issue or theme, or be more forthright and say there are some things I’d like to change… if you were me, what would these areas be? In short, you want to begin to plant some seeds for change.
Once these seeds have been planted, you can sell your clear vision – this is what I see the direction of travel is – and recognise what you need from others – and I really want us to help achieve it. It is through engaging people and encouraging them, that they’ll want to come on the journey with you. Psychologically, this is the preparation stage.
As they journey with you, the changes will begin to be implemented. As you go, there will be opportunities to see what is working and where tweaks and amendments need to be made. You’ll also begin to see more clearly those who need additional support to grasp the changes which are happening. There will be ups and downs during this process, but ultimately, the aim is to hold onto the vision you’ve shared, and which you believe in. This is the action stage.
If you’ve been successful in leading change, you’ll see that the differences you’ve implemented are now part and parcel of who you are as individual’s and/or an organisation. They have become fully integrated into the changed culture, practices, attitudes and organisational direction, and your team will have ownership of it.
The good news is that change is constant… opportunities and challenges continuously present themselves and require us to recognise, respond and engage… As scary as this may be, it also gives us an exciting opportunity to lead our organisations and ministries forward, as we seek to share our vision with a wider audience.
In November we’re asking you to pray for Raj Kaur, Family Link Worker at Iver Infant and Junior Schools. Raj joined the team in September, taking on the role from Eliz (who now heads up Emerge). Please pray for Raj and the two schools she’s working in. Below are her prayer requests:
Family Link Worker at Iver Infant and Junior Schools
· Please pray for my family and friends; that God would continue to sustain and protect them.
· Pray with thanks that as a family, we can enjoy the privilege of spending time together, sharing joyful experiences and celebrating happy occasions.
· Pray that we’d continue to be there for each other when there is need for comfort, and give us the wisdom we need to know how to respond.
· Please pray that God will equip me with the skills I need for my role, and help me to grow and mature in wisdom and knowledge.
· Thank you that I have the opportunity to let my light shine, and that I can make a positive impact in the schools I am working in and within the wider family of east to west.
· Please pray that joy is experienced in every home where there is struggle and that there is light where there has been darkness.
· Pray that east to west continues to be successful and touches the hearts of many children, young people and families, making a long-lasting positive change in their lives.