Monday, March 31, 2008

Initiating and Implementing Planned Change - Part 3 of 4

3. Implementing Change

It is one thing to identify the need for change and then to determine the appropriate changes to be made; implementing change however is another story. In some environments change is an up hill battle. In an environment of apathy or complacency successfully initiating and implementing change can be very difficult. Where a significant leader, especially one in a permission giving role, is adverse to change this too can make change a difficult prospect. The most supportive environment for change occurs when an organisation is experiencing numerically growth. Growth equals change and people are generally comfortable when change is required because of growth; change is seen in a positive light. No matter the environment though, change must be implemented carefully.

The successful implementation of change starts with clear and honest communication. Leaders must paint a clear and compelling picture as they vision cast the proposed changes. The ‘why’ of change as well as the actual changes about to take place must be communicated. If the ‘why’ is not communicated, people make up their own reasons for the change. This creates myths that in some cases are absurd reasons for change which undermine the support of change. The mistake is often to communicate the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ to senior leaders, but then communicate less and less of the why as you move down the levels of leadership. The ‘why’ should be communicated at all levels within the organisation. In communicating change leaders should also seek to affirm tradition and highlight existing strengths that are being built upon. In affirming tradition, leaders help those who will be impacted by the change to see that the change is only in order to continue great traditions in a modern era. In building on existing strengths leaders complement their teams and inspire them to new levels of excellence in areas they are already proud of. This inspires people for change as they see themselves moving from good to great.

Leaders should first communicate their message of change privately with team members they feel will be sure to support the change and with team members they feel may be opponents to change. Dialogue can be held with questions and concerns addressed and alleviated. This gives a leader the opportunity to rally supporters before going public with the change and to also help those that may not be so willing to embrace the change. Once supporters have been rallied and opponents assured, a leader should then communicate the change to the whole team or organisation.

Once change has been clearly communicated, teams should be given a period of time before change is implemented. Allowing time between the announcement of change and that change taking place gives people the chance to process the change and come on board with it or to pull back if they cannot work with the change. The more gradual a change the more readily people accept and embrace it. The more hurried a change is introduced the more people feel like they were forced somewhere they perhaps didn’t want to go. In the end though there will always be a date when the change will happen. When that date arrives change will occur and must then be reinforced.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Initiating and Implementing Planned Change - Part 2 of 4

2. Discovering the Necessary Changes

Once the need for change had been identified the nature of the change must be determined. This can be a difficult process at times. In some situations that require change there is no one right answer or change option, but a number of good options of which one must be selected. In other situations there may be one right change option but it may not be an option that initially appeals to people. Many adults cannot conceptualize tomorrow until after they have experienced it and thus the cost of some change seems too much. This can mean a reluctance to endorse or support certain change because it seems too difficult or too overwhelming only to discover that once change has been successfully implemented that they are in total support of the change and all it achieved. This being the case it is wise to have a small group of people make the difficult decisions regarding what changes should take place. This small group of people with the mission, vision and values of the organisation clear in their mind should begin a process of exploring what change options are available and designing a specific course of action for the organisation. In discovering change options this group should; (1) be clear on the objectives they are seeking to achieve through change, (2) talk to experts where appropriate; (3) use networks to research what other similar organizations do in similar areas; (4) decide which of three levels of change is required, a continuation of that which is currently being done only done better, a change to current systems, procedures and programme, or a more drastic departure from the status quo; (5) consider short and long term impacts of proposed change; (6) consider other changes happening in the organisation and the change environment; (7) decide on time frames for change; (8) call in others from time to time to consider proposed change from a fresh perspective; (9) communicate proposed change and change options to the appropriate person, board or committee for final approval. Final approval is important as sometimes change is hindered not because of lack of discontent but because of a lack of consensus for a specific course of action.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fastest Test Match 100 Ever ???

Well done Tim Southee on a great debut in Test Cricket for New Zealand. Test cricket is the true, pure and greatest form of the game and Southee proved to be an exciting assist to the Black Caps. Southee took 5 wickets in the first innings and in the second innings hit an incredible 77 not out from only 40 balls. All the stats are here.

By my calculations Tim Southee was on target to hit the fastest hundred in test cricket ever; by anyone. The current world record is held by Viv Richards who hit 100 off 56 balls at St John's verses England in 1985-86.

Tim Southee was 77 off 40 balls at a strike rate of 192. At 192 (the rate he was going) he would have needed 12 more balls to get the 23 runs he needed for 100. He would have had 100 off 52 balls. 4 balls better than the world record, at 19 yrs, and in his first ever test. Pretty impressive.

It will be exciting to watch his career as it unfolds in the years to come.

Initiating and Implementing Planned Change - Part 1 of 4

Growth equals change. While it cannot be said that change always equals growth, the key to sustained growth in any organisation is the ability to successfully initiate and implement planned change. Leaders must develop the ability to deal with change and the four stages of change; (1) identifying the need for change, (2) discovering necessary changes, (3) implementing change and (4) reinforcing change. It would be a great mistake to think that the brilliance or logic of proposed change will be enough to win people over. Change is a process that requires leadership and is central to any effective strategy for organisational development.

1. Identifying the Need for Change

Planned change does not happen in an organisation unless there is discontent with the status quo. The status quo may not be meeting existing organizational goals or organizational goals may have altered. Internal and/or external changes to the organizations context can mean the status quo is no longer maintainable or viable, or is obsolete. The status quo may currently be acceptable but other factors soon to impact on the organisation may mean it will become unacceptable, change is thus required. The need for change is often first spotted by senior leadership within the organisation as they look forward at the future of the organisation. Discontent can also come from within the organisation. Staff or volunteers may become discontent with the status quo as they feel it is not working or that there are better ways to do their job. They may feel under-resourced, over taxed or simply bored and become discontent with the status quo. Leaders must be attentive and mindful; taking time to reflect on the suggestions, complaints and discontent that they observe in their teams or departments and be open to change. Change will not always be the answer but often change to some degree is required. When change is required but not offered this can result in forced change through reformation or revolutions. Where change is not forced upon an organisation but rather planned and initiated, change happens through innovation. As leaders take the time to reflect on the state of their organisation in regards to its mission, vision and values and bring change through innovation, change becomes proactive rather than reactive. Proactive and initiated change is better than provoked change that comes from shortsightedness or an unwillingness to reflect as a leader.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another from

Here is another article I thought you would enjoy. This one makes fun of some of the problems and issues churches have with mission statements.

SOMEWHERE, Made-up. — First Covenant Church unveiled a new mission statement last week, hoping to launch the church into an era of greater unity and spiritual effectiveness.
But response to the two-page statement has been decidedly mixed among church members who despair of memorizing it as the church has requested.
"It’s a verbal tangle of quasi-eloquent nothingness," grumbles one man. "I can’t even say it right when it’s projected on the screen. I end up with a mouthful of blah."
The new statement reads:
"First Covenant Church exists for the passion and purpose of inspiring, discipling, equipping and sending out Christ followers with the destiny of transforming the world to the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and fostering a graceful yet convicting church environment in which people of all faith experiences and backgrounds are molded into the image and reflection of Christ, together creating a God-honoring community of authentic worshipers deliberately focused on reaching their community, the nation, the next generation of believers and the world through missions works, innovative programs and prayer."
And that’s just the first sentence.
The church has gone into a full-court press to get members to memorize the statement. The full text is posted on every door in the church, in bathroom stalls, in the bulletin and on all church correspondence and emails. The church is running a half-page ad featuring the statement in the local newspaper for two weeks. They were unable to fit it into their usual quarter-page space.
Services now begin with everyone holding up their Bibles and reading the statement off the screens together with the pastor. All church-sanctioned events, from small groups to softball games, must now begin with participants reciting it together.
"It takes longer to get through than the national anthem," says one softball team captain. "The other teams laugh at us."
Pastor Jack Lewine says he felt obligated to promote the statement mainly because his associate pastor Glen Pamplin had labored over it for six months before presenting it to the church. But even Lewine admits he had to delay the unveiling for two weeks so he could "get my own head around it." He can now recite it in less than 90 seconds, of which he is proud.
Pamplin is reportedly irritated by people’s "reluctance to get on board with what God is doing at First Covenant." He says the statement’s length simply reflects that God has a lot in store for the church in the future. Bristling at the criticism, Pamplin recently floated the idea of throwing a contest with a cash prize to see if anyone in the congregation can come up with a better statement "that still fully encompasses, embodies and encourages our fundamental mission as an outpost of grace, joy and love for Christ in the city to which he has called us at this time in history," he says.
Suggestions are already rolling in.
"How about, ‘Jesus rules,’" says one seventh grader. "They should pay me by how many words I didn’t use."

Well Done Stephen Fleming

While Stephen Fleming didn't manage to finish his final test ever with a 100 and while it looks like NZ will lose this match and the series; Fleming did manage to tack his average up over the 40 mark.

Well done Stephen Fleming and thank you for your incredible contribution to the game over the years.

Here are some of Fleming's most memorable knocks.

Here are Fleming's reflections on his final innings.

While many have said that, himself included, that he was a great player who underachieved, his statistics are still impressive and there is no doubt that he is arguably the greatest cricket captain ever.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goodbye to the General

In the words of Mark Richardson...

He has the most Test runs of any New Zealander, but it is Stephen Fleming's contributions as a master strategist that he will be remembered for.

My words…

Stephen Fleming will likely take to the field to bat today in his last cricket match for New Zealand. Fleming is an incredible sportsmen, batter, fielder etc. He is also a remarkable leader. I look forward to seeing how he goes today, am hoping he can get 100, take his average to 40+ and go out in victory and in style.

For more have a read of Mark Richardson's comments here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

5 More Reasons to Run

Well as promised here are another 5 reasons to run. Some are good but for some I'm scrapping the bottom of the barrel...

1. The fitness that results from running will likely help you to live longer. This means all sorts of things, especially cool is hanging out with kids, grand kids and great grand kids.

2. Exercise keeps you mobile. Running will help you to move around in life easier and longer than would otherwise be. Certainly doesn't feel like that after a 2.5 hour run though. Did that yesterday, 24kms, was meant to do 30kms but oh so tired. 42km seems a long way off.

3. You get to buy cool equipment! Running shorts with built in bike pants, ipods, headphones, hydration belts, compression bands, $30 socks, Nike singlets. Awesome.

4. You sweat a lot. I'm sure this is a good thing as long as you shower afterwards. Sweating removes toxins and stuff from your body. Doesn't it?

5. Interesting things happen when you run. I had a cicada fly into my ear the other day. On two separate occasions I have been attacked by a seagull, that was freaky. The other day I saw a shag dive into the water and come up with a massive eel. Pretty cool.

So yeah there is another five reasons to run. So get running.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Christians Planning to be Offended

I found this the other day on a website run by Christians that makes a little fun of some of the stupid things Christians do. Enjoy.

Christians planning to be offended by next Eminem album...

DETROIT — Rapper Eminem is taking a year off and has written no songs recently, but Christians are already preparing to be offended by his next album.
"I'm good and ready to be outraged," says Earl Gillani, 46, who has been practicing his shocked expression and the "don't you bring that garbage into this house" speech he plans to give his teenager.
Mother Maureen Dafney cringes at the very thought of Eminem's next musical offering.
"It pains me to think of his next album," she says. "I'm primed for disappointment."
Some parents who've been waiting on tenterhooks for the latest line-crossing CD simply want the relief of knowing what they have waited to be offended by.
"It's harder not knowing," says Paul Derby, 39. "I'm looking forward to that moment of stunned vexation when I finally hear how far he's gone this time."
Eminem told SPIN magazine he will work diligently to make the album as offensive as possible so not to let down his Christian audience.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One Hour of My Life Wasted

I just want to let everyone know that I just wasted one hour of my life watching The Singing Bee. I am sorry but that has to be one of the worst game shows I have ever seen. I can never get that hour of my life back and am seriously thinking of writing to the broadcasting standards authority, but I don't want to waste another hour. For your own mental sanity don't tune in.

Knee Update

Well here is the latest update on my knee. I went and saw a specialist sports doctor on Monday. Turns out I was in good hands. For the last two seasons she was the team doctor for the Canberra Raiders, so she knows what she is talking about. Although she was a little overwhelmed by my impressive size; she is more used to those little guys from the NRL; she was very helpful.

Turns out I have iliotibial band syndrome caused by weak hip abductor muscles, my gluteus medius to be precise. So I have to do butt exercises to fix it up. The white band you see in the picture runs down the right hand side of my right leg, as I run the band rubs back and fourth over that ball looking thing just inside it (the lateral femoral epicondyle). This gets painful after a while.

Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front during the gait cycle. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed, or the band itself may suffer irritation. For more info and diagrams click here.

What does it mean regarding the marathon? Well I had a cortisone injection which means no training for 48 hours, after that I am meant to do cross training for a week, swimming or cycling, and then I can get back into my running. So it looks like the marathon will go ahead but I will be a couple of weeks behind in my training.

Where before I was aiming to finish in a particular time, I think the goal will now be just to finish rain, hail or shine and then move onto other challenges in life.

PS: I will still come up with another 5 good reasons to run, still thinking though…

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Run?

I headed out for my major marathon training run for the week this afternoon. What a way to spend your Sunday afternoon! The goal was somewhere between 2.5hrs and 3 hrs of running, 25km to 30km, or something like that. Well that never happened did it. This time I wasn't beaten physically, in the sense of my knee giving out, that still hurts however and I am off to see a specialist tomorrow. Today I was beaten mentally. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was scorching. I nailed 8.5kms in good time, no worries. That was one lap and it that took me back to my house. To then leave my house for another lap... well I never left. I felt strong in my legs and in my heart and lungs. Mentally though I had nothing. It was too hot and seemed to long to be in the sun.

At the end of the day I think I hate running. I just thought it would be a good idea to do a marathon and tick that off the list of things to do in life. I think I still think that is a good idea.

Got me wondering though. Could I come up with 10 good reasons to run? Well here goes, in no particular order.

1. It gets you outside into fresh air and some beautiful surrounds. Beats being stuck inside all day.

2. It gets you and/or keeps you fit and healthy.

3. It beats walking. If you are walking to keep fit you may as well run. It takes your heart rate up a level walking never will and improves your cardio vascular fitness in a way walking never will either. If its just about burning calories then you'll burn in 15 minutes running what would take you 45 minutes walking. If you are new to exercise, start by walking but build up to running. Sorry walkers, but hey my blog!

4. If you like the occasional Corona, glass of Shiraz or cold Ginger Beer; then running is a must. Keeps the belly in behind the belt.

5. Regular running provides a great mental challenge. Even if you are not training for a marathon, running 3 or 4 times a week for 30 minutes is a great mental challenge. Physically, once you can do it, you can do it. Mentally though, to stay consistent for 4 runs a week for 10 weeks or so is a big mental challenge and test of your discipline. Well worth taking on and well worth the effort.

Ok there's five, I'll come up with another 5 soon. In the meantime; get running!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The 4-Hour Workweek

One of the most interesting books I have recently read would have to be 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Timothy Ferriss. While I don't agree 100% with the philosophy and worldview of Ferriss, his book is defiantly food for thought. The book is very easy to read and has some great thoughts on simplicty, automation and retirement. It is well worth a read.

Here is an overview of the book...

Whether you're an overworked employee or an entrepreneur trapped in your own business, The 4-Hour Workweek is the compass for a new and revolutionary world.

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan—there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, high-end world travel, monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

You can have it all—really.

Join Tim Ferriss, popular guest lecturer in entrepreneurship at Princeton University, as he teaches you:

* How to outsource your life and do whatever you want for a year, only to return to a bank account 50% larger than before you left
* How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
* How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of little-known European economists
* How to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job (or company) if it's beyond repair
* How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
* What automated cash-flow "muses" are and how to create one in 2-4 weeks
* How to cultivate selective ignorance—and create time—with a low-information diet
* Management secrets of Remote Control CEOs
* The crucial difference between absolute and relative income
* How to get free housing worldwide and airfare at 50-80% off
* How to fill the void and creating meaning after removing work and the office

For more on 'The 4-Hour Workweek' click here.

NRL Season 2008

The NRL season for 2008 kicked of last night with two local derbies; the Rabbits(20) vs the Roosters(34) and the Titians(36) vs the Cowboys(18). I didn't pick either result which won't help my in my tipping comp. It's going to be an exciting season and it will be interesting to see how the Warriors go. Not having Sky Sport anymore I organised to have the two games taped and then picked them up to watch first thing this morning. Something went wrong though and the tape only had the first half of Rabbits game. Gutted. Thanks for trying though Sam.

Sky with the additional sports package works out at $817 for 12 months. I thought long and hard about it but Lisa convinced me that Annamari and baby 2 need food and clothes before we even think about Sky. So, if you have Sky Sport don't be shy about recording the NRL, i'll pick the tapes up and be more than happy to watch them.

If you are a keen NRL follower and would like to join a tipping comp you can do join mine here. First register as a tipper and then join the comp called 'Tauranga NRL Tippers.' Password is 'itip' Good luck for the season and...

Go the mighty Vodafone Warriors!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Donkey Kong

For those of you too young to remember, Donkey Kong is a classic arcade game that was released by Nintendo in 1981. The game is an early example of the platform genre as the game play focuses on manoeuvring the main character across a series of platforms while dodging obstacles. The storyline is thin but well-developed for its time. In it, Mario (originally called Jumpman) must rescue a damsel in distress, Pauline, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape went on to become two of Nintendo's more popular characters.

For the next little while you will be able to play Donkey Kong on my blog. Just click on the game and then use your arrow keys to move and space bar to jump. I can still remember playing Donkey Kong when I was 7. My older cousins had a hand held version of the game. It was awesome when I was 7 and it's still kicking it now that I am 27. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Leadership & Friendship

Leading a team or an organisation has plenty of challenges, one challenge being the difficult dynamics of leading friends or being led by a friend. Leaders must recognise that friendships within their leadership context, (friendships that existed prior to a leadership position or those that are built over time in a leadership team), will create dynamics that do not exist with those they lead that are not close friends. With wisdom these dynamics can be dealt with and friendships can grow and develop while at the same time leadership can flourish.

King Saul’s son Jonathan, (Crown Prince of Israel), and David, (shepherd boy and God’s chosen heir to the throne of Israel), had a friendship like brothers despite the vast gap in leadership position at the time (1 Samuel 18:1). Jesus we know was closest to the disciples Peter, James and John and had a friendship with them unlike that with the other disciples. In both cases leadership was not compromised because of friendship, nor was friendship compromised because of the leadership dynamics.

Leading Your Friends:

1. Don’t show favouritism.

When leading a group that contains a mix of your friends and of other great people who simply may not be close friends of yours, it is essential that you do not show favouritism. All opinions, thoughts, concerns and ideas are valid in a team setting not just those of your friends. Everyone on the team needs to feel included and to feel like they have an opportunity to contribute equally with those alongside them. Promotion as well as delegation of the not so pleasant tasks must be available to everyone and give to everyone. It is important not to show favouritism to your friends in order to help them with their own relationships with team mates and in order for you to maintain credibility with others on your team.

2. Know when to lead and when to be a friend.

John Maxwell in his book The 360 Degree Leader talks about the need for leaders to be able to juggle their different hats of responsibility carefully. Leaders often have multiple hats, different hats of authority, influence, position and responsibility. You have to wear the right hat at the right time. Leaders leading their friends have a hat of leadership and a hat of friendship, it is important that leaders learn to wear the right hat at the right time. Leaders, you don’t want to be wearing your leadership hat when you are hanging out with friends at the beach. They aren’t going to appreciate that so much. At the same time when you step into a leadership environment it is important to take your friendship hat off and be the leader you are called to be.

3. Be careful with social information.

Because you are a closer friend to some than to others on your team, you are privy to a lot more information about a friend than you are to others. You see them in a social setting when their guard is down, they are relaxed and under no pressure to perform as a leader. This is a privileged position and insight gained from a social context must be used with wisdom. I’m not suggesting that your leaders will be one thing in a leadership context and something completely different at a BBQ hang out, they just won’t have their game face on. Neither will you. Give grace and understand that all your other leaders are the same deal you just don’t get to hang out with them.

4. Keep healthy expectations.

It can be easy to have wrong expectations in regards to those that you lead. Expectations that are too high or too low. Expectations that are distorted because of your friendship. It is important to pause and reflect on the person you are dealing with and set healthy expectations for them in regards to the leadership context they function in. Disappointment and frustration are equal to the distance between expectation and reality.

Following a Friend:

1. Respect and honour them as a leader even though they are your friend.
2. Be mindful of context and interact with your leader/friend in a manner appropriate to context.
3. Give grace to your leader/friend. You see them in their leadership role and in the everyday normality of friendship. Leaders aren’t supermen or superwomen, just regular people with responsibilities.
4. Keep being their friend. Leaders need great friends as much as anyone else.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time Flys

Man time goes fast! Lisa just mentioned that her and the other mums from our antenatal group are in the process of organising a combined 1st birthday for all the babies from our group. While she is 10 months old at the moment, I can't believe we are coming up to Annamari's first birthday! The last year has been amazing and being a Dad is awesome. Annamari is an absolute joy to have and her outgoing, adventurous and active personality makes everyday exciting. She is so going to enjoy having either a baby brother or sister in August. If you don't yet have kids then you are in for a real treat and when you are ready, (you're never ready), I know you will just love it. Until you do have kids here are a few things I suggest you make the most of before they come along.

1. Sleep (I think sleep is overrated, in saying that, appreciate what you have pre baby).
2. Movies (Go to the movies lots, even if they are zero star rated like 10,000BC. Babies and movies don't mix).
3. Golf (18 holes, four hours... young Dad's it just ain't happening).
4. Sky Sport (Sky Sport moved out when baby moved in, watch more sport now and make the most of it, even watch motor sport if you have to).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Bucket List

Lisa took me to the movies last night to see Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson's latest movie The Bucket List. Expecting a few good laughs and a light hearted movie, The Bucket List offered a lot more than that.

While still very funny, there were a number of powerful themes and messages running through the film and a great challenge to live life to the full. Issues of faith were touched on in a simple but profound way, as well as the importance of friendship and family.

The Bucket List is well worth a watch either at the movies or when it comes out on DVD.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Off to Palmerston North

I am away this weekend at Palmerston North Christian Family Church. This evening I will be speaking at a young adults meeting, tomorrow morning at one of the church extension services and on Sunday night at their main combined service. It should be a good trip and I am really looking forward to God doing some great things in people's lives.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Wobbly Knee...

As some of you may know I have been training for the Rotorua Marathon that is coming up May 3rd this year. Everyone keeps asking how the knee is going? Is the knee going to make it? Aren't both knees 50 years older than you are? Well the knee was going fine.

Up until and including my 21km runs, the knee has been fine. At 21km plus though my knee started giving out. At first around the 24km mark, so I rested a week; then around the 17km mark, so I rested another 4 or 5 days; now it gives out at around 3kms. Not so good when 42km is the goal.

I am currently in consultation with my doctor and will be seeing a specialist soon. Will see how it goes. Will keep you posted.

On Spiritual Direction...

Sibyl Towner is the director of spiritual mentoring at Willow Creek church in the States. She made this comment in an article I read recently on offering spiritual direction to others. That it is simply, "helping people to notice and respond to the activity of God in their lives." I thought this a wonderful observation as too often in leading people in their relationship with Christ, we focus on what we know about Christ and what we know about people in general, rather than focusing on what Christ is doing right now in their life.