Writing as a guest author, Gary Borland concludes his series on Management of Change. He is happy to enter into communication with readers. Contact him by clicking on his name, above.

In order to maximise the opportunities to unlock an organisational vision, it is essential to have a demonstrable and commonly understood way in which those in the church or ministry work together to deliver it. Strategy (the ‘how’) is the way in which this is done to maximise and optimise resources and to create clear line of sight for everyone in the organisation to align their contribution to in support of unlocking the vision and delivering the mission. A poor or absent strategy is seen in a lack of motivation to participate or contribute, disjointed activities delivered to varying degrees of success, and where success may be difficult or impossible to measure. People expect to be led well and a key component of being led well is having clarity not only in where they are going, but also in how they are going to get there.

Organisational Design
With a strategy in place, an Organisational Design is created to deliver the strategy in the most efficient, effective way. Organisational Design is an approach to take the strategy, consider what capabilities, people, practices, processes, metrics and structure are required to optimise strategy execution, and then to build accordingly. A key component of this is the operational model that sits at the heart of the organisation. A set of supporting plans will identify what resources are required, in what order things will be done and will create the opportunity for people to grow their giftings, and in turn develop their leadership, which will increase the capability and capacity of the organisation many times over.

Risk and Opportunity
Managing both risk and opportunity are vital to the success of any organisation. Situations and challenges arise that could not have been anticipated. However, unless a structured method of risk management is in place, entirely predictable circumstances could have unnecessary and damaging consequences. Similarly, if opportunity is not managed in a structured way, openings and possibilities are likely to pass by without ever having even been aware of them.

All of this requires good leadership. Sadly, many people and many leaders approach their life and their various roles with a default strategy of survival; survive as a parent, employee, leader, partner or other area of life. Leaders who operate in a default strategy of survival, invariably consider themselves to be victims. They see themselves as victims of other people, circumstances, events and so on, thereby killing any prospect of stepping out into a bold possibility as a consequence of fear. Operating from our convictions and not our fears is a key leadership attribute, particularly in the context of major change or transformation.

The way we speak and the language we use tells people a lot about our leadership. In simple terms, leaders have two options: ‘Descriptive’ or ‘Committed’ language.

Descriptive language talks about things or refers to them and is normally focussed on the past and talked about as though issues and challenges are all to do with circumstances, and not as a result of ineffective leadership (ie someone else is/was to blame). Descriptive language uses stories, opinions, judgements, explanations, complaints, assessments, predictions, justifications, reasons, assessments…….but often delivers little, if anything.

Committed Language is about making things happen, creating possibilities, outcomes and actions. It is focussed on the present and the future, and is determined by the people engaged in the discussion, not the circumstances or descriptions used to explain why things can’t be done!

Self-aware, committed leaders, standing for new possibilities, leading from a position of conviction and not fear, using committed language, who seek dissenting voices, commit even when uncertain, and understand the power of unlocking the capabilities and potential of their people, are what organisations require in order to achieve extraordinary breakthrough. When linked to effective strategic planning and by embracing some powerful change management principles, there is little that cannot be accomplished. If God is for us, who can be against us?

I am so grateful to Gary for writing this series for my blog. If you wish to make contact for further help write to Gary Borland.

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