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Leading Change

Change is all around us. There is only one thing that really never changes and that is the fact that everything changes. Society is changing at a faster rate than ever before. How we, as leaders, handle change is critical if we hope to remain relevant and be productive in what God has called us to do. What does a leader do when change is unavoidable? John Kotter in his book Leading Change lays out a process to implementing change in an organization. He places an emphasis on the processes by encouraging several steps to be followed by the leader. The process begins with developing a desire for change by examining the landscape and identifying and discussing potential opportunities. Next, the leader would create a guiding coalition by putting together a group with enough power to lead the change and encouraging the group to work together like a team. This coalition would develop a vision and strategy to help direct the change effort. The leader would then empower broad-based action by changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision and encourage risk taking and nontraditional ideas and actions. Next it is important to generate short-term wins by visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made the wins possible. These wins lead to consolidating gains and producing more change by reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents. The last step is important as the leader must work to anchor new approaches in the culture by creating better performance through productivity-oriented behavior and more effective management. These steps should be effective in helping the leader become a change agent in the organization. May God help us to become that change agent.