7 Thoughts to Consider when Implementing Change

Brandon ConnerOur guest blogger today is Brandon Conner, campus pastor of the Canton campus of NewPointe Community Church in Akron, Ohio. Brandon is a great leader, speaker, and church consultant. We welcome him to this site. 

Leading people through change is an inevitable part of leadership. In order to lead effectively, however, leaders must see change as a process more than a decision or a vote.  Below are seven things to consider when leading through change.

  1. Determine if change is really needed. Before implementing change, remember that change is never free and is rarely cheap. There is no need to pay the price for change unless the change is necessary. Be sure.
  2. Determine and explain what kind of change is needed. John Maxwell has identified two types of change: evolutionary change and revolutionary change. Revolutionary change is radical and often painful. If this type of change is required, be prepared to explain what kind of change is coming and why it’s needed.
  3. Discuss prospective changes with key leaders. Be willing to propose change “across the table” rather than communicating only from the platform. Talk it out with other leaders.
  4. Communicate the proposal for change, with the appropriate sense of urgency.  In order for people to accept change, they need to believe it will help them capitalize on an opportunity or avoid pain caused by not changing. Leaders who leverage both “opportunity” and potential “pain” can help their organization more readily accept the need for change.
  5. As change is implemented, define the season for everyone in the church.  People need to know if they are in a season of pruning or a season of harvest.  By defining the season, the leader can establish realistic expectations for everyone in the church so that implemented change has a realistic shot at working.
  6. When change produces the desired outcome, celebrate those who allowed change to occur.  What gets celebrated gets repeated. By celebrating those who willingly embraced change, you will set the stage for future change.
  7. When change doesn’t take you where you want to go, be humble enough to say, “I was wrong.” When a leader is too prideful to admit a mistake in judgment, followers want to abandon ship because they see impending doom. People don’t expect their leader to be perfect. Admit when you made the wrong call and move on. Your team will respect you for it.

What other thoughts would you add to this list?

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