Before You Introduce Change

Vision casting isn't step one, or even step two.

Bringing change to an organization isn't easy. Everyone who has ever led a church would agree. Perhaps it's a congregation that's aging and isn't connecting with younger people, but no one wants to make changes that would welcome younger people and integrate them into the life of the church.

Perhaps it's a congregation that has a full calendar and keeps its people busy, but isn't engaged at all with people in the community outside the church.

Where do you start with the necessary changes?

John Kotter, an expert on leadership at the Harvard Business School, has studied how the best organizations actually "do" significant change. He suggests that useful change tends to be associated with a multi-step process, which creates power and motivation sufficient to overcome the inertia, obstacles, and inevitable resistance.

In his book Leading Change, he outlines this eight-step process:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency.
  2. Create a guiding coalition
  3. Develop a vision and strategy
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