Ever-Increasing Agility In A Changing Environment
By: Tim Gocha
One of the core values of Vanderbloemen Search Group is: "Ever-Increasing Agility." As a company, we strive for agility to serve our clients and candidates with excellence in an ever-changing marketplace.
Whether it’s societal or cultural norms, our personal lives, our jobs, our communities, our nation, or our world, change is all around us. As Christian leaders and thinkers, we have to be able to navigate, grow, and even thrive in that tension.
Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church says, "Irrelevance happens when the speed of change outside an organization is greater than speed of change inside an organization."
Here are 3 key reminders on how to strive for agility in a changing environment:
1. Be open and keep growing
A few years ago, my parents bought their first iPhone. They went from a simple flip-phone to a ‘smart’ phone. I remember talking to my mom a few days after the purchase and she told me that she and my dad unwittingly skipped dinner the first night they had the phones because they were so fascinated by this new technology – of course my mom was most impressed with all the puzzle apps available to purchase. The point? My parents still want to be relevant. They are still inquisitive and willing to learn new things and for the most part, they are adaptable to change.
How are you staying on the cutting edge of ministry? How well are you leading your church through change? How teachable are you? Are you leading strong, taking risks, and leading by example? You cannot be effective in our ever-changing world until you’re committed to personal growth and to staying agile.
"You cannot be effective in our ever-changing world, until you’re committed to personal growth and to staying agile."
2. Don’t be surprised by resistance
Understanding and embracing change is an art. As a visionary and a leader, you live with the thought of what could be instead of "it’s always been this way." That’s the beauty and the angst of leadership. It’s a practiced discipline that not everyone practices. Instead, most leaders need time to process and are not early adopters when it comes to having their space and comfort zone violated.
Throughout my career as a pastor, it was normal for me and the leadership team to introduce a new ministry or initiative after lengthy conversations and planning sessions. We knew that not implementing change would, over time, have a negative impact on ministry effectiveness. Not everybody saw it that way. Surprised? How many times have I heard, “but that’s not the way we’ve always done it”? Too many. Human nature suggests that dragging our feet, procrastinating, or being overly protective and resistant to change is normal. It’s almost a learned reflexive action. Don’t be surprised by resistance to change, but learn to be agile, patient, and steady. You may have to plant and water some seeds at first, but know that in time, you will see good things happen and change will come. Embracing an "Ever-Increasing Agility" will take patience and fortitude, but it will happen.
"Don’t be surprised by resistance to change, but learn to be agile, patient, and steady. You may have to plant and water some seeds at first, but know that in time, you will see good things happen and change will come."
3. Learn to Celebrate the Wins
I have a couple of friends and family members that had either a joint replacement or reconstructive surgery. Each time, some form of physical therapy was required to restore and increase muscle movement and physical agility. Through many hours of vigorous therapy and exercise, they got stronger and were eventually back to normal.
You learn during the process of recovery, to celebrate the small steps that we sometimes take for granted – even the smallest improvement was called for a party!
When it comes to change in your leadership arena, you may need to start small and slow. If you are communicating why change is necessary, implementing that change well, and exercising your faith muscles, eventually the speed and scope of that adjustment or modification will begin to gain momentum. Acceptance and agility will increase and become more natural and even anticipated over time. Remember to take time to step back and enjoy what God is doing. Celebrate the wins!
The Bible tells us God’s mercies are new every morning. This suggests, that no matter what happens around us today, we have hope for a new tomorrow. Nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable and it’s not going away. As leaders, we have the sacred privilege of helping those we lead to embrace and accept change. That doesn’t mean lowering the bar or disobeying the Word. Instead, it means that as we learn to lean into Him, we find new strength, fresh wind, and an "Ever-Increasing Agility" to serve those around us.
What are some of the core values your team has implemented to establish and reinforce the staff's culture?