The Next Faithful Step

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Part 4: Leading for Transformative Change

Scott Cormode, Fuller Seminary

"How do you help someone change who desperately needs to change but desperately does not want to change?"

  1. Technical and Adaptive Change  
    1. Technical Problems
    2. Adaptive Challenges
      1. When is adaptive work necessary?
      2. "You can't quit smoking for someone else."
      3. Examples of adaptive change in religious organizations
    3. Adaptive change cannot be imposed; it must be evoked
      1. People have to "discover" the problem in order to make their own
      2. It requires an environment and not just information
    4. "Leaders have to fail people's expectations at a rate they can stand."  
    5. Leaders cannot use technical means to adaptive ends

  2. Avoiding Adaptive Work  
    1. "People don't resist change; they resist loss"
    2. All loss requires a grief process
    3. "Leaders bear pain; they do not inflict it"
    4. Avoidance often happens because a person has a greater commitment to a competing value

  3. Constructing a Holding Environment  
    1. Constructing a holding environment requires a "balcony" perspective
    2. Avoidance happens when people feel the problem too little or too much
    3. Holding Environment: Safe and Uncomfortable
    4. Turn up the heat; turn down the heat
    5. Failing Expectations I: People expect leaders to take away problems
    6. Failing Expectations II: People expect leaders to answer questions

  4. Jumpstarting the Change Process
    1. Small Wins: "I believe in organizational momentum."
    2. Design for early successes
      1. Experiments on the Margins
      2. "Back them when they make mistakes."
    3. Help people "imagine their way into change"
      1. Re-inventing the Past: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
      2. Naming the Future: Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream"
      3. The Dangers of the Present: Lincoln's Second Inaugural

  5. Execute Change over Time: Maintain Disciplined Attention
    1. Activate the Issue
      1. Snatching defeating from victory
      2. Dealing with disloyalty to the past
    2. Authority provides the ability to direct attention
      1. Getting authorized
      2. Leadership as Education
      3. Educating about process is as important as educating about issues
      4. Authority as a constraint
    3. Garbage Can Theory

  6. Adaptive Change comes from the Bottom Up
    1. Give the work back to the people
    2. Protect "voices from below"

  7. Preventing things that Endanger Change
    1. Managing Your Boss
    2. Avoiding Assassination