T ucked deep into the wonderful Less Clutter. Less Noise. by Kem Meyer is a little two page spread (230-231) about leading change. It’s a set of gold nuggets, so I am shamelessly cribbing it in exchange for a hearty endorsement to go buy the book. Seriously. It’s awesome. Below are Kem’s 5 strategies for leading change, with my annotations and additions in italics.
Why leadership strategies for managing change on a story and communication blog? Because all communication leadership is also change leadership.
“Add some people to your trust pool who have not always agreed with you. Adopt a no-turf policy.” In other words, if you’ve had some conflict with someone, take them to lunch.
“Old habits and existing problems are not easily solved.” If you’re CEO of a business of one, change is easy. But when you have many stakeholders involved (and church may have the most stakeholders of any type of organization) you either have to get most on board (see Build Alliances, above) or burn capital.
Go To The Source.
“Visit others where they work. See how they operate.” There’s usually a reason things are the way they are. That doesn’t mean it’s a valid reason, or one worth keeping, but you need to know what it is before you blow it up.
“Find ways to make others look like rock stars.” They way I do this is to not introduce my planned solution in the meeting about it, but to lay up a softball question to allow them to voice it. If they’re a good employee, by the second or third pitch they knock it out.
“Make it About Others, Not Yourself.” This may change Kem’s meaning a bit, but I’ll add to this that when you make it about others, you diffuse the drama of change. Change creates emotional reactions. I try to be passionate about my decisions and reasons, and calm and stoic about people’s responses.