Edward Deming said the following on the subject of change. “You don’t have to change. Survival is not compulsory.” That caught my attention. I was invited by a client to attend their business transformation meeting last week and I have to say that I’m blessed to be there! It really speaks to me about my current business position and how crucial it is for me to change. It is no longer an option or a choice that I have to make, it’s something definite! Sometimes you have to give up, to go up! The future has a vision but the present and past have a comfort zone. Besides staying the same when the times demand change only creates bigger problems later on that are much more uncomfortable than the pain and process of change. I learnt that ‘Success does not lie in my ability to adjust to change, Success lies in my ability to anticipate change.’ How true!
Ed Delph, is a noted speaker, pastor, author and apostolic figure to many churches locally and internationally, Ed serves “the church” and well as “a church.” He is the President of Nationstrategy, an organization that unleashes the potential of communities through the strategic alliance of church, business, government, education and media for the benefit of the community. Nationstrategy was started in 2001 with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. The purpose of Nationstrategy is to reveal ‘mindskins’ that create wineskins and environments for community transformation and enhancement. Simply said, we (Nationstrategy) are people who empower people to transform communities.
So he was asked by my client to speak on the subject of change. The owners of this successful business were in the process of making some strategic decisions and changes that positioned the company for success in the future. His assignment was to prepare and present a paper to the owners and to all of their employees on why they were making the changes and what they process would be to go through the change. He started by asking the owners of the company the following questions (which they approved) in front of the company’s employees. “The world today is in amazing times. Things are changing fast. What do you anticipate changing in our industry in the near future?’ “What do we need to do now to position ourselves for success and sustainability in the future?” “Our company has been on a wonderful journey so far. In your opinion, where are we vulnerable?” “What are we doing well and what could be do better”
“What specifically are the changes that the leadership is considering for success in the future?” “How will these changes for the future benefit all of us?” “How can the employees help in making this change?” “What preparations have you as owners make for us all to transition effectively with as little pain as possible?” “If someone gets frustrated, angry, fearful, or is intimidated during this change process, what can they do and who should they talk to.”
That is quite a list of questions, isn’t it? But this is real life and real life goes best when there is good change management. Information is motivation. Pastor Jason Arant notes that most times it is not the change that is the problem but how the transitions are handled that is the problem. Someone else said that if you take care of your team of employees during the transition, your employees will take care of your customers and your customers will take care of your business. That is a win-win for everyone.
He even shared his speech with his 1700 friends on Facebook about change. Here are some of their remarks. Change is wonderful as long as everybody else does it. Change is here to stay. I love you, you’re perfect, now change. I’m so broke that I can’t afford to change my mind. Inflation is change. Change for the sake of change is not always a good thing; make sure the vision is a good vision first. The only thing worse than change is wishing you had.
Here’s a thought. The Bible says that God doesn’t change it but also says that God changes us. As we gaze at the Bible and Jesus, we are changed from the inside out. And when this life is over, we shall all be changed. Don’t struggle against the changes that God make. Learn to use it for your advantage and keep pedaling!