Change – Part 3

350px-2006-02-04_Metal_spiralThe final sections of Hans Finzel’s, Change is Like a Slinky, deal with what happens after change has been implemented. Adjustment and alignment, he says, are needed in directing the path of the toy spring we know as a ‘Slinky’. So, too, with change. It cannot be assumed that change will just happen without the need for intervention. Although yesterday’s post suggested that change involves leaps and not just tweaks, there is still a place for ‘tweaking the leaps’ to ensure that we optimise ‘on the fly’.

5. Adjust. We cannot assume to know where change processes will end. Staying true to our values anchors us as we focus on the inevitable need for flexibility amid chaos. We must remember that adhering rigidly to what made us successful will bring failure. Reading the seasons means knowing when the next change is needed. An upward curve of growth is not endless and needs us to bring the next surge cycle. Therefore we need to listen at the fringes, learn with humility and create an interactive environment. When people default back to the past, we need to ‘get Egypt out of the people’, even though the people are already out of Egypt.  Despite needing to adjust to different personalities and circumstances, this basically happens as we consolidate gains and anchor the new approaches into the culture.

6. Align. We must take a long-term view of success. Trusting God and ourselves, trend watching, trial and error, talking to everyone with both ears open, having a sense of the right timing, skills in tact and diplomacy, and ongoing tenacity, will all be crucial to staying the course. The oil of the change process, though, is encouragement. This helps people to process the grieving of the old and the ambivalence to the new in their wilderness journey toward the Promised Land of change realisation. Thriving organisations have the ability to send the right signals, to maintain a shared sense of purpose, to manage themselves toward vision fulfilment, to promote widely shared knowledge and an open culture, to respect innovation and important individual contributions, to respect team as well as a tolerance for different styles, to tolerate uncertainty, to correlate group visions and unit goals, and to find good alignment between goals and performance. Trust is ultimately the glue that keeps a team together since change breeds doubt. There is no hope for progress if trust is lost, until it is rediscovered. If we ultimately accept that we should never give up on our dream, then we must be prepared to stay true to our ideals and to never be afraid to show passion in our pursuits.

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