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Evaluating Change Initiatives

(This was originally posted on April 17, 2019)

Responsible leadership means initiating change.

As leaders, we are called to help move people to go where they need to go. James Kouzes defines leadership this way:

“Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.”

In another resource, Kouzes and Posner say,

“In essence, leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done.”

Perhaps in future posts, we will unpack those definitions further. But for today’s post, I want to discuss what is required for change to happen. Obviously, the primary means of change is the work of the Holy Spirit. We need to acknowledge that first and foremost. Having acknowledged that reality, the Holy Spirit often uses the same means to bring about change.

The flowchart below was given to me when I was a student at Southern Seminary. There are 5 necessary components to change according to this flowchart:

  1. Vision: what the future looks like.

  2. Skills: leadership competencies.

  3. Incentives: the good that will come from the change.

  4. Resources: what is needed to accomplish the change (e.g., money, people, facilities, etc.)

  5. Plan: how you are going to get there.

If you have all of those in place, you should see the change you are trying to initiate. Missing one (or more) of those five will result in a variety of responses – none that you want.

I found this flowchart to be very helpful in trying to evaluate why some of my leadership initiatives have failed – if I look at those whom I’m trying to lead and see frustration, I know it may be a resource problem. And if I see anxiety, I know people may not sense we have the leadership to pull off the change I desire.

What do you think? Have you experienced similar results to your leadership? Is this flowchart helpful?

Credit to Dr. Wes Feltner (SBTS Doctoral class)

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