Get to the heart of the matter

By Rick James

Last year I reviewed a five year change process with a large Kenyan church. They made massive shifts in the nuts and bolts of their organisation reviewing their patriarchal constitution, developing much needed policies. The process of addressing them, however, brought to the surface more fundamental issues of relationships, culture and trust. To bring significant change needed attitude and behaviour change. 

For me the most powerful moment was mid-way through. The constitutional review had ground to a halt due to the lack of trust amongst the board members and leadership. It was only when the board themselves acknowledged that they were the source of the problem; spoke openly to each other; forgave and prayed for each other that they were able to develop the reservoirs of trust needed to deal with such a sensitive topic. 

Any organisational change process needs to get to the heart of the matter. This case study reaffirms that for any organisation to change, individuals must change too. Major OD often requires deep, personal transformation of leaders, far beyond rational logic or knowing the theology of servant leadership. This goes deeper than brute logic. It is a work of the Holy Spirit.

This week:

  • How might we adjust our current change initiatives to focus more on personal change and building trust? 
  • How might we create more space for the Holy Spirit to transform underlying attitudes (which drive behaviours)?

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