Posts Tagged ‘change’

The “U” of Change

Posted: July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized
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The U of changeIn my last post I talked about three hindrances to change. As you move down the left hand side of the “U” through the process of change you may encounter the voice of judgement, the voice of cynicism and the voice of fear. In order to bring about real change it is necessary to let go of these voices. They will take you to a place at the bottom of the “U” where you come to a deeper place of connection with yourself. But change can’t stop there.

As you move up the right hand side of the “U”, providing you have effectively let go of the voices of judgement, cynicism and fear, you will begin to “let come” three new voices that will allow you to more fully take hold of the future.

The voice of hope is the place where you may crystallise the vision. You can start to envision the future more clearly and, having let go of those voices that hinder, are able to be hopeful of what is yet to come.

The voice of grace enables you to explore the future. Someone once said: We need to fail often to succeed sooner. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong, but it recognises our failures and allows us to move forward without fear, cynicism or judgement.

The voice of faith is the opportunity to step out in practice. Change requires faith because there must come a time when you’re prepared to take a step forward and grasp the future as it emerges.

This process can hold true in organisational change as well as in individual change. It is relevant to the change process that is required in spiritual growth as well as the changes we experience in the workplace, at church and in the home. Remember CS Lewis’ words in my last post: CS Lewis once said: It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

If you’re going through change right now, enjoy the journey and stay strong!

Making a U Turn

Posted: June 28, 2015 in Uncategorized
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vq-U-layersThere are many metaphors for change and many theories about change, but I particularly like Otto Scharmer’s Theory U. Here’s my interpretation: Change can be recognised in a U shape. The top left of the U we can call “now”, while the top right of the U is our preferred destination. Here’s a diagram of it, showing that change requires an open mind, an open heart and an open will.

In order for us to get from “now” to our preferred destination it’s necessary for us to go down the left hand side of the U to that silent, deep place at the bottom where we know that change has occurred, before moving up the right hand side. You see, change is a process that requires many steps, and they often take a very long time.

At the top left of the U where where we begin the process of change, our normal approach is to download from the past. We make decisions based on habits or experiences from the past. That’s why it’s not uncommon when we talk about change in an organisational setting to hear the phrase: “We’ve done that before; it’ll never work.”

The journey down the left hand side of the U is the process of “letting go” while the journey up the right hand side is “letting come.” But the process of letting go involves three significant stages: Letting go of the voice of judgement; letting go of the voice of fear; and letting go of the voice of cynicism.

The voice of judgement calls on us to control people; we make decisions about people based on our experiences and our expectations. Letting go of the voice of judgement also means letting go of these people; accepting that we don’t need to control people by our standards and expectations. The voice of judgement hinders our ability to love and prevents us from opening our hearts to the people who we need the most.

The voice of cynicism is that dark place where trust is stifled. We’ve been hurt by people, by organisations, or processes and we cynically refuse to be hurt again, sensing that those people, organisations or processes will never change and there is no chance that change can occur while they are a part of our situation. Letting go of the voice of cynicism allows us to trust again and thus release the process of change.

The voice of fear paralyses us. Often it’s fear of change. Sometimes fear of the unknown. Whatever that fear is, it can stop change dead in its tracks. As we let go of fear we allow our hearts, minds and will to be opened up to the possibilities of change.

CS Lewis once said: It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

For us to grow, change is necessary, but we can stifle change and hold it back if we are not prepared to let go of the voice of judgement, the voice of cynicism and the voice of fear.

Here’s a sensational video and a thought for the new year from Ephesians 4:  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I loved the comment that appeared on my blog this week: Just a story I would like to share following on from the Fun Factory: Adam was saying to me today that when he went to the Fun Factory activities in the holidays that they told him about a man who lives in the sky and stops bad things happening to people and he couldnt remember his name, I told him it would have been Jesus, he said oh yes it was. I said that some people dont believe in Jesus and he said sternly: ‘Well that’s because they didn’t go to the Fun Factory isn’t it!’

If you’ve been to Fun Factory you’ll love Messy Church that is held at MVBC on the fourth Saturday of each month. The difference is that Messy Church is not just for kids. In fact, more and more I’m thinking it’s what church should be like. Kids and parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, teens and singles, all getting together to work together, play together, worship together and eat together. We do all those things in a pretty informal way and through it all we’re getting to know Jesus better.

In a changing world it’s important that we reimagine the church and look for new and different ways that we can gather together as followers of Jesus, and even as people who are thinking about what following Jesus might look like. Messy Church is one of those options that are available and I suspect we also need to think about other ways we can help people move closer to God.

I’m convinced that the church has served God well over the centuries, but it has changed during that time and needs to continue to change if our world is going to experience the good news of Jesus. I’m loving be a part of that change and looking forward to what may be around the corner.

If you want to get a picture of what Messy Church looks like, take a look at this video from our Grand Final Challenge on Saturday.

ImageI was fitted with a new pair of glasses last week. They’re multifocals so I don’t have to keep taking my glasses on and and off all the time. When I am eating a meal I can look at the food through the bottom part of the glasses and the food is in focus, and when I look up through the top part of the glasses, the person sitting opposite me at the table is also in focus.

Such a simple change, yet the results are so profound.

Significant events can come out of small incidents. I think Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody said something like that in 1991 when they wrote the protest song, From Little Things Big Things Grow.

This week try saying hello to someone in the shopping centre that you may have otherwise walked by without acknowledging. Give someone a phone call to see how they are going. Drop a card to someone who needs encouragement. Talk to your neighbours.

Who knows where those little things will lead.

ImageI remember once riding a motorbike in the bush on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie. Alongside the track on which I was riding was a fence and on the other side of the fence an emu began chasing me. This emu may have been confused and upset at the sound of a motorbike, but instead of running away from me, it was running alongside me, constantly crashing into the fence that was clearly getting in the way of its efforts to attack the offending machine.

The emu and its futile efforts remind me of organisations (and I include the church) that struggle with the idea of change. Sometimes the fences are so secure and our view of the world is so narrow that change becomes a painful and frustrating exercise. The result is that change management involves re-educating emus, re-building fences that have been damaged, or are in the wrong place, and learning how to deal with offending motorcycles on the other side of the fence.

Compare this story with that of a caterpillar that has movement built into its body. There have been some fascinating discoveries recently about the way caterpillars move. (You can see a great video of this movement here). It seems that their internal organs move, followed by their legs. As they make their way up a leaf or branch their body maneuvers across all sorts of barriers in a very natural way, and every part of their body, led by their guts, move together to overcome the obstacle.

Too often organisations operate like emus bashing themselves against fences in a futile attempt at resolving problems, instead of being like a caterpillar that has change built into its system, starting with the internal organs. My observation of the way Jesus launched the church is that it is more caterpillar-like than emu-like. But over the years we have changed.  

It seems that for us to address the issues associated with a changing world and changing society, and for the church to survive in this new environment, we need to think of ourselves as being more like a caterpillar. Rather than change being something foreign and difficult, a caterpillar church sees change as a natural part of its existence.  A caterpillar church doesn’t see bumps as obstacles but part of the branch that we have been created to climb. A caterpillar church is constantly moving – gut first.