This week Facebook released an update to their users that has been received with a huge backlash. It seems like every other status update this week on my news feed has been about someone complaining about the changes. Bottom line: people hate change. It doesn’t matter if it is an improvement or not.
There seems to be a few leadership lessons that church leaders can draw from the Facebook failure to lead this week:
1. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
2. Give opportunity for people to “buy in”.
3. Let people see the change before having to experience the change.
4. Listen to feedback.
5. Make changes to the changes that you’ve made.
At the same time that Facebook was changing its “look” we were changing our “look” at VALLEY Christian Church. We replaced all the carpeting in our auditorium and hallways after 24 years. Outside of “church world” this might not sound like a big deal, but those of you who are inside the church, you know how huge a change something like this can be.
Here’s how we applied the five principles listed above to our changes this week:
1. I’ve shared for months people in small groups and in individual conversations that we needed to change the flooring in the church, the reasons why, and the timing of the change.
2. Last Sunday, we gave everyone a chance to “buy in” to the change by helping remove all of the seating in the auditorium after our last gathering. Everyone felt like they had a part to play in the change and we communicated how much we appreciated all their help.
3. As soon as the carpeting was down, we posted pics on our VALLEY Facebook page so people could see the changes before experiencing the changes (on Sunday at our next gatherings). This actually added excitement and anticipation for many.
4. At this point the feedback is still coming in and all of it is very positive. Although we know this may not always be the case, we are asking and listening to what people are saying about the changes.
5. We will continue to listen to the feedback and tweak any of the changes that we’ve made that might be made even better with some additional adjustments (i.e. setting seating back up etc.).
So how about you? How do you lead in the midst of change?