Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wisdom and Change

I have had an interest in Organizational Change Management since the early 1990’s when I assisted two churches in combining forces and merging into one.

There was significant resistance within both groups and lots of obstacles to overcome. At the time I didn’t realize that I was doing OCM. I liked the process of creating a proposal for change and then negotiating with both parties to see it come to fruition.

So a few years ago when I started reading some change management materials I realized that I had done this before:

- Create a case for change
- Build a shared vision
- Assess risk
- Develop a roadmap to get there
- Manage resistance
- Execute the change
- Communicate the successes
- Sustain the change

I would have labeled the bullet points differently back then but my process looked very similar.

Now when we make changes in our personal or professional life we don’t always go through a formalized process like the one above but we do go through most of the steps. At least wise people do.

I knew a gentleman who changed like the weather here in Cleveland – a lot. He changed his mind and his plans so often I quit trying to keep up.

Sometimes – okay often - his vacillations did not prove very wise.

No vision, no risk assessment, no roadmap – just execute the change and live (cope) with the results. And he wondered why the road was so bumpy?

Wisdom would dictate that if you are going to shove off in a different direction that - at the very least - you anticipate the consequences.

To quote an ancient text: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn't first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?”

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