Leading Change: Identify

Last week, I shared the five steps to Lead Change and today want to dive into the first step: Identify. Before you will ever see intentional, productive change take place in your organization or church you have to ‘Identify’ what change you are wanting to implement.  In this step it is important to be clear on the what and the why behind it.  In other words, don’t just settle for “I want to update the worship at my church.”  You need be able to answer the ‘why.’  Why is that important?  Why should that happen now?  Not just what, but also why. Once you’ve clearly identified your ‘what’ & ‘why’, you need to now identify a clear timeline for implementation, your ‘when.’  At what point are you hoping to see this change implemented?  Make sure you take into account all four of the steps (I’ll explain those more in future weeks).  The bigger the change, the slower the process will need to be, and the more listening you will need to do.  This timeline doesn’t have to be a fixed number of days or months.  It can be abstract.  The more complex the change, though, the more specific your timeline will need to be. Finally, you should identify ‘who’ the primary stakeholders/users will be.  In other words, who will be most affected by this change?  This usually (not always) has very little to do with a person’s position or title, but individuals that will regularly be using the tool or experiencing the effects of the proposed change.  You can identify your ‘what’, your ‘why’, your ‘when’, but if you neglect the ‘who’ you are guaranteed to experience an uphill battle the entire way toward change.  Remember that every change affects a person.  That doesn’t mean we hold off on change because of people (we’ll get to this more next week), but you should at least identify who is going to be most affected by the change. As a point of discussion:  Which one of these is often most difficult for you to identify?  The What?  The Why?  The When?  or The Who?

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