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Transitional Markers: Unity and Disunity

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If you are going to be transitioning an organization, you will have at least three subgroups within that organization.  I identify them as: Inflexible, Need Driven, and Fast Movers.  Probably could come up with better names, but hey, this thing’s free, so you’ll have to live with it. ;)

The Inflexible don’t want to change.  They are happy in their current processes, whether those processes are effective or not, and they would rather keep what is familiar than to improve efficiency, even if it means the ultimate failure of the organization.

The Needs Driven are willing to go where you lead, but have legitimate needs in order for them to go.  They need to be equipped with principles, understanding of processes, motivation to experience discomfort as a price to be willingly paid for the success of the organization.

The Fast Movers are the counterpart  to the Inflexible.  They want change so badly, they are willing to force it through before the organization is ready; before anyone is equipped or motivated.  The ultimate failure of the organization is just as assured if these people are the driving force as if the Inflexible are the driving force.

The responsible leader will not allow the agenda or pace to be governed by either extreme (Inflexible or Fast Movers), even if it means alienating or losing them.  In fact, it is the epitome of naievitae to expect that everyone will come with you through a massive restructuring process.

On the other hand, you can never take lightly the committment of organizational members.  In many ways, the organization will exist because of the sacrifices made by some who are not ready for change.

It is the responsibility of leadership to help as many as possible understand that the organization will exist in the future because of sacrifices being made now by the current members. They must encourage as many as are willing to pay the price of discomfort for the future, whether the discomfort come from changing in ways they don’t completely endorse or from changing at a pace that is healthy for the whole group.

It is not that the leadership should attempt to keep the organization unified, but should recognize that it already isn’t and guide it to become so.

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One Response to “Transitional Markers: Unity and Disunity”


  1. Vicki R
    on May 22nd, 2009
    @ 9:22 pm

    I’m in the “fast mover” category and worse than that I’m very impatient. I believe that God has a great plan for our church and I’m excited about being on the journey to see where he’s taking us. God is sifting the members at SDBC and we will be stronger for it.

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