Wat laat mense in verandering vassteek by die bekende?

Written by Besoeker on . Posted in Transformasie

  • Ek dink die “hulle” is hier eintlik ons almal.  Is dit nie waar dat ons almal instinktief versigtig raak as ons voor die onbekende te staan kom nie?  Laat iemand maar net vir jou blinddoek en oor ‘n hindernisbaan begelei  Almal raak stadig, bang en selfs angstig, want ons weet nie waarheen ons geneem word nie.  Wat mense soos my vriend en ekself moet onthou, is dat ons meestal in prosesse in beheer wil bly.  Ons voorstelle word die pad wat ander moet loop.
  • Om te verlang na die bekende het baie keer te make met die spoed en intensiteit van die proses.  Hoe vinniger en dieper die proses loop, hoe groter is die kans dat ons transformasie-moeg sal raak, en dan is die bekende eenvoudig die maklikste of selfs die enigste manier om te oorleef.  Ek was onlangs verstom oor my eie reaksie toe ek na ‘n flim gekyk het oor apartheidskuld.  Daar het ‘n diep moegheid en moedeloosheid oor my gekom – net nie nog ‘n keer nie – was my gevoel.  Dit terwyl ek gewoonlik die een is wat mense sal aanmoedig om met ‘n oop gemoed en onbedreigd na die verlede te kyk! Die punt is eenvoudig, ek was emosioneel te moeg om die pad weer te loop. As mense seer gekry het – emosioneel seergekry het – en dit word nie geheel nie, is die emosionele energie net nie genoeg om weer oop te maak nie.
  • Van myself weet ek dat ek gewoonlik eenvoudig te vinnig is, en dit maak dat ek nie genoeg na mense luister nie. As mense dan nie inval nie, doen ek die onvergeeflike ding om mense wat nie met my saamstem nie te beskaam. Hoe kan jy nie die verandering steun nie, sal my lyftaal en stemtoon wees. Van mense naby aan my, hoor ek dat ek dan ‘n blindekol het en sonder dat ek dit weet dikwels geneig is om dan mense te laat voel hulle is net nie gehoorsaam genoeg, slim genoeg, gelowig genoeg of wat ookal is nie. Dit is dan wat ek begin preek, en hoe meer ek preek in so ‘n sitausie, hoe meer beskaam ek hulle!!! En hoe meer bou die “resenment” op in hulle, hoe onveiliger word dit om ons broosheid teenoor mekaar te wys. Morele hoë grond en die gepaardgaande beskaming is ‘n sonde wat ons as gemeenteleiers maklik in die naam van die HERE pleeg. Om mense te beskaam – hoe reg jy ookal mag wees – is nie van God nie, maar eerder gebore in eiegeregtigheid.

Dit help my ontdek dat die probleem nie met “hulle” te make het nie, maar met myself, wat nie genoeg luister nie, myself te ernstig opneem, en deur my ongeduld op ‘n subtiele manier in beheer wil bly. Ja, ek weet dit is nie die hele storie nie, maar kom ek vertel vir jou nog ‘n storie:

Ek is onlangs in ‘n klas, ‘n student vra ‘n vraag, ietwat lomp. Hy het die saak duidelik nie heeltemal deurdink nie. Ek sien die gat is sy argument en slaan toe. Binne enkele sinne sien ek hom reg. ‘n Vriend reageer gelukkig rustiger. Ek dink nie ons het alles gehoor wat jy wil sê nie, vra hy aan die student. Luisterend begelei hy die student verder, dieper.  Hy raak vrymoedig en begin voel-voel die eintlike saak wat hy op die tafel wil sit, oopmaak. Dit word ‘n wonderlike, lewensveranderende gesprek. Ek kon hom nie begelei nie, want ek was te gou met my antwoord, en te stadig om te luister …

Maar, ek ken hierdie moedeloosheid waarvan jy praat baie goed, en om die waarheid te sê, as ek eerlik moet wees, my moedeloosheid is dikwels ‘n vrees om te misluk wat ek projekteer op die “hulle” wat halstarrig is. Ek kan hulle nie verander nie, maar ek kan rustiger word, dieper luister, meer bevestig as beskaam, veilige ruimtes skep, sonder om op enige manier prys te gee op my visie. Dit is dan wat ek deur skade en skande leer, waar die teenwoordigheid van die Gees beleef word, waar die Koninkryk inbreek.

Soms breek die genade deur, ten spyte van myself, en lei ek nie vanuit vrees nie, maar vanuit die onvoorwaarlike beloftes van God, kry ek my ego oorwin en regtig gefokus op die ander in my teenwoordigheid. Dit is dan wat ek verstom is oor alles wat tussen mense kan gebeur. Dit is hierdie oomblikke van verwondering wat my ‘n volgende keer weer laat probeer.

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Onder wie se tafel stoot Gereformeerdes hulle voete in?

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Transformasie

Ek skryf hierdie waarnemings terwyl ek Antjie Krog se Begging to be Black (lees ‘n opsomming van die boek hier) (lees ‘n opsomming van die boek hier) lees, en my verlustig aan hoe sy die Berlynse kultuur kontrasteer met die turbulensie van die post-apartheid kultuur in Suid-Afrika. Aan die een kant is sy onverwags tuis in die ge-ordendheid van die Duitse kultuur, terwyl sy aan die ander kant haar onlosmaaklik deel voel van Suider-Afrika se choas. Christo, die vraag is:Hoeveel van wie ons is, is gevorm deur die evangelie, of as jy wil deur die gereformeerde verstaan van die evangelie, of sommer net deur ‘n christelike verstaan van die lewe. En hoevel van wie ons is is gevorm deur die Noord-Europeses kultuur van die Nederlande en Duitsland, met ‘n duidelike ge-ordende uitkyk op die lewe.

Ek voeg ‘n eie staaltjie by die van Krog. Twee jaar gelede is ek en kollegas by ‘n konferensiesentrum van die PKN in Hydepark naby Zeist in Nederland. Ek bied ‘n kursus aan en meeste van my SA kollegas woon die kursus by saam met Nederlandse kollegas. Eeen woon ‘n ander kursus by. Die etes is netjies gereel, elke kursusgroep sit aan hulle eie tafel. Een SA’er is egter lus om met ‘n ander groep te eet en gaan sit aan hulle tafel. Met middagkoffie kom een van die Nederlandse kollegas en verklaar: Daar is spanning aan de Hydepark deze week! Na ‘n lang verduideliking begryp ek dat omdat een van die SA’ers by ‘n “verkeerde” tafel gaan sit het, het dit die Nederlanders onverhoeds betrap en het dit ‘n domino effek van onsekerheid regdeur die eetsaal van verwarde Nederlanders wat-nie-weet-presies-waar-hulle-moet-gaan-aansit-nie, veroorsaak. Toe ek die SA groep nader roep en betig- bars hulle onbedaard uit van die lag- en vergroot so my moeilikheid. Ek vertel die verhaal gereeld om die verskille in kulture te verduidelik en vind dat sommige Nederlandse kollegas dit nie as ‘n grap sien nie maar nog ‘n keer wil verduidelik waarom elke cursis tog maar aan die regte tafel moet sit.

Ek dink die vraag is onder wie se tafel stoot die gereformeerde tradisie haar voete in!! Wat dra ons in ons gemeentes oor, die DNA van die Noord-Europese ge-inkulturaliseerde evangelie, of het ons al ons voete onder die tafel van Afrika ingestoot? Ek dink ons is besig daarmee, soms vinniger as wat ons besef is dit eintlik met ons aan die gebeur, ons moet dalk net meer bewustelik daaroor wees. Dit is eintlik die punt van die Gosple and our culture beweging wata uit die toelogie van Newbigin ontstaan het.

Jy kan natuurlik nie ‘n gemeente wees sonder om jou voete onder die heersende kultuur se tafels in te stoot nie. Die wat dit ontken val dikwels die meeste ten prooi van daardie kultuur.

Oor vrede en Angola

Written by webmeester on . Posted in Transformasie

  • Toe die Here die engele toelaat om die geboorte van sy Seun aan te kondig, kon hulle twee versies sing. Moeilike keuse, maar die engele besluit toe om te sing: “Eer aan God in die hoogste hemele en vrede op aarde in die mense ʼn welbehae.”
  • En toe Jesus, na hy sy dissipels se voete gewas het en met hulle die nagmaal gebruik het, hulle ontsteltenis oor sy weggaan en dood aanspreek, gee Hy vir hulle onder andere die volgende twee beloftes: Hulle sal ʼn Trooster, die Heilige Gees ontvang wat by hulle sal bly. En dan sê Hy: “Vrede laat Ek julle na, my vrede gee ek vir julle. Die vrede wat ek vir julle gee, is nie die soort wat die wêreld gee nie.”

Vrede was die engele se een woord opsomming van wat Jesus na die wêreld bring en vrede was Jesus se een woord vertroosting aan ontstelde dissipels. Vrede is die een woord opsomming van die evangelie. Die preek het die 12 pilare van vrede, die 12 woorde waarop vrede gebou word, wat dit moontlik maak, verduidelik (Ek het Walter Brueggemann se werk hieroor gebruik).

Hierdie storie is egter oor die tolk en die gemeente. Die tolk was ʼn Angolees wat in die oorlog geveg het en nog worstel om geestelik te herstel. Hy het van Windhoek af saam met ons gery, ʼn baie aangename man. Soms stil, soms spraaksaam. Vroegoggend voor die preek sit ons saam en “beplan” die preek. Ek skets die inhoud en die teologiese lyne van die preek en vra hom om vry te vertaal – hy ken die mense. “Pas dit toe soos die Gees jou lei.”

Hy sit ʼn rukkie stil en sê vir my. “Jy preek die regte preek. Die mense het dit nodig.” Toe vertel hy wat mense die afgelope dae met hom gedeel het. Een man het vir hom raad gevra want sy buurman het pas gehoor dat hy die en is wat in die oorlog sy buurman se vrou verkrag en haar dood veroorsaak het. Hier anderkant is ʼn ou man, vertel hy feitlik toonloos verder, wat in die oorlogstyd bekend was as “Major Resistance” – van Unita. Hy’t hom vertel van die keer toe hy opdrag kry om ammunisie in Huambo te gaan haal. Dis op die kortste, volgens my skatting, 600 km se stap soontoe…. en 600 km terug. Hulle is daar weg met 240 jong meisietjies wat hulle in die omgewing uit hulle huise “gevat” het. Elkeen moes ʼn ammunisiekis op haar kop terugdra. 170 het teruggekeer. Die ander is dood want wie nie verder kon nie, moes dood. Die ou man het gehuil. Hy sê, hy probeer om dit te vergeet.

Eredienste is hier, soos telkens in Afrika, selde korter as drie uur. Eers het die kore gesing. Die vroue sit aan die linkerkant van die kerk, die mans regs, die jongklomp in die middel – in groepe van mans en meisies. Sogende kleintjies is oral in hulle ma’s se arms. Die koster jaag kleintjies wat te veel raas die kerk uit. Ek bly kyk na die ou tannies en omies en bly wonder of daar van hulle is wat ammunisiekiste moes dra. Talle lyk so verweerd en gelate dat dit vir my voel asof dit hulle almal vanoggend in die kerk is – die wat oorleef het. Hoe sou Major Resistance lyk? Is hy dalk vanoggend hier? Talle van die ou gesigte kan in die raampie van die storie pas.

Dit was ʼn besondere preek. Die tolk was soos een wat die brood by my kom haal en dan draai hy om en hy gaan deel dit uit. Hy is op en af in die gangetjie tussen die banke en hy preek – met ongewone oorgawe en erns. En as hy terugdraai om die brood te kom haal, sit die kerk tjoepstil, half ongeduldig, hulle oë op die tolk, tot hy terugkom en die brood oopbreek en uitdeel aan die honger mense. Hulle het asof gehipnotiseerd na hom geluister… met groot oë wat diep in die maer en moeë gesigte van die ou mense na hom staar, uit strak gesigte van die jongmense wat kon aanvoel dat hier ʼn drama afspeel waaroor die ou mense nooit praat nie. Die honger na vrede was voelbaar.

Stop Blaming your Culture

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Transformasie

Turning Around Mother Aetna

One executive leader who worked expertly with his existing culture was John W. (Jack) Rowe, CEO of Aetna Inc. from 2000 through 2006, chairman from 2001 through 2006, and currently on the faculty of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. A former gerontologist at Harvard Medical School, Rowe — along with Aetna’s then president, Ronald Williams, who became CEO upon Rowe’s retirement and is now the company’s chairman — led one of the most successful turnarounds in U.S. corporate history. In five years, Aetna went from losing $1 million per day to earning $5 million per day.

The Rowe/Williams effort was the fourth attempt to transform Aetna’s strategic performance in 15 years. The previous three efforts were derailed by the culture, which was known within the company as “Mother Aetna.” This mind-set pitted the 40,000 employees of Aetna against everyone else the company had to deal with, for example, doctors, patients, medical providers (such as hospitals), and the employers who bought insurance. This “us-against-them” attitude had given Aetna a reputation as the most suspicious, recalcitrant, and bureaucratic health insurance company in the United States. All three previous top-down change interventions tried to increase the staff’s empathy for customer organizations, sensitivity to doctors, and responsiveness to patients. Two efforts basically ignored the culture, and the third tried to smash it apart. All failed.

Rowe often describes himself as the least likely person for the Aetna board of directors to pick as CEO. “I never ran a business,” he says. “I had never been to business school, or had any commercial management experience. The only thing I’d ever done was take care of patients and try to make hospitals do better.” That willingness to admit he didn’t know everything served him well. He started by identifying about 100 people throughout Aetna as “non-hierarchical influencers.” He sought them out informally, asking them to help him understand how employees felt — about customers and patients, about their own work, and about the goals of the company. These people acted as what anthropologists call key informants: cultural guides who could help him get to know the company more intimately than he ever would through purely formal channels. He stayed in touch with them continually, through e-mail, one-on-one visits, and group discussions. They gradually became the core of a group of people who shaped and supported Aetna’s new strategic direction.

Second, he set out to reconsider the company’s shared values. Aetna had been in business since 1819 (in its current form, since 1853), and its company statements about such values as honesty, caring, truthfulness, and teamwork were long established. But they weren’t congruent; he uncovered at least a dozen different formal values statements that various leaders had put forth over the past decades. So Rowe set up dialogues in Aetna offices around the U.S., on the subject “Why aren’t our shared values practiced in interactions with our customers?” People discussed this question in groups of about 30, defining specific ways in which they (and others) might act differently.

After 20 or more such events, Rowe worked with several of his colleagues to write up a new statement of values and behaviours. He also set up what came to be called purpose-driven councils — cross-functional groups designed to find ways to make critical changes happen. Rowe and his team designed these councils with three distinctive characteristics. First, they assigned each an explicit purpose, such as organizational effectiveness (developing a plan for restructuring the company) or strategic direction (developing a plan for prioritizing customer opportunities). Second, they enlisted members who were well respected by their colleagues and who had many informal connections. Third, they gave the council’s decision authority over the areas they were investigating. The strategy council’s efforts eventually led Aetna to spin off its financial-services businesses and discontinue some unprofitable offerings, such as health insurance in certain countries.

The new formal practices were congruent with the values in the culture. For example, the executives laid off about 15,000 people, or almost one-third of the workforce. But they did it in a relatively transparent, compassionate way, with a clear rationale for those chosen to leave, and with pay increases and stock options (along with an increased work week) for those who remained. Rather than worrying that their jobs might be next, the remaining staff at Aetna now had a culture that they had helped define, in which they felt more a part of the growth direction.

Rowe and Williams also commissioned a cross-organizational effort to build motivational capability among the most respected frontline supervisors in the company. These “master motivators” were respected by their peers; they connected widely and virally in ways that energized many of the changes.

The Power of Behaviour Change

The notion that behaviour change leads to attitude change can be traced back to the 1950s, to psychologist Leon Festinger and his theory of cognitive dissonance. Festinger argued that when people are induced to act in new ways, even if those new behaviours feel unfamiliar or wrong at first, their need for consistency will gradually affect the way they think and feel. They will seek out reasons to justify their new actions — both rationally and emotionally.

Behaviour change affects attitudes most powerfully when it is supported by empirical evidence and real-life observation of better results. Direct experience trumps the old beliefs of an established culture. If that experience is reinforced by a group of people, then it is far easier to change a culture than most people believe. But you must focus on changing the behaviour rather than engaging with the culture directly.

In emphasizing behaviour, you are looking for those few actions, conducted again and again, that will lead to better values (and thus to better results). Make clear the distinctions among the values you want to develop, the one-time actions you are changing, and the recurring behaviours you hope to instil. A commitment to service, for example, is a value. When a retail salesperson expresses that value by helping a customer exchange a purchase, that’s an action. When the salesperson does this routinely, knowing that over time it will help solidify customer loyalty to the store, it’s a behaviour. Similarly, frugality in government is a value. When a prime minister flies on a commercial airline once (as U.K. leader David Cameron did to the U.S. in July 2010, shortly after his election), that’s an action. When the prime minister does this consistently, as Singapore leader Lee Hsien Loong does, that’s a behaviour — and it is likely to have much more cultural impact.

Thus, if you are seeking more accountability, identify the types of ongoing behaviour that embody that value. You might have to be specific: “I expect you to read, record, and respond to every customer complaint — and I will reward or penalize you accordingly.”

These new behaviours can be startlingly simple. Years ago, Shell Oil Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell PLC) had a reliability problem in the global refinery system. It was traced back to the safety and quality control processes, which were designed at the central office but not followed consistently at the refineries. Instead of launching a broad accountability initiative, a peer group of managers convinced the executive leaders to institute one new behaviour. Before initiating any new process, central office managers had to ask local people how they could best introduce it. That simple behaviour change, conducted by just a handful of corporate executives, ensured consistent implementation of the new process.

Repeated behaviours have cultural impact because they are contagious. People unconsciously imitate what they see others do. This is particularly true among respected colleagues; mutual respect is a powerful source of influence. Even small changes in behaviour, if they are picked up by more than one individual, can ripple through an organization as others see their value and begin to act accordingly.

In moving people to change behaviours, you will need to rely on both rational arguments and emotional appeal. On the rational side, you need to make a case for change: Here’s why this particular behaviour is needed. Help people recognize, for example, how the new behaviours will support the firm’s business strategy, will improve customer retention rates, or will be received by Wall Street analysts.

But emotional factors will undoubtedly matter even more. Compassion, fairness, and environmental responsibility are very convincing motivators. So are relief from anxiety and the opportunity to work more congenially with other people. Many employees will likely be concerned about how the changes will affect their peers, their own ability to take pride in their work, their work–life balance, and their family’s and community’s reactions, as well as the firm’s reputation. These issues must be addressed at a gut level, to ensure that acceptance of the change will be genuine, enthusiastic, and widespread.

Understanding without acceptance and commitment will not suffice. Nor will acceptance and commitment suffice without discipline, alignment, and the right capabilities. The rational and emotional elements need to align to yield sustainable change.

Pragmatic Practices

Numerous principles for changing culture through behaviour have become evident through ongoing practice.

• Start pragmatically. Don’t try to change everything at once. Focus on a few critical behaviours that resonate with your current culture, but that will raise your organization’s performance. Explicitly identify the target group — the employees whose behaviour needs to change — and bring the necessary changes to life by demonstrating them.

• Reinforce the new behaviours through formal and informal means. Provide formal metrics, incentives, and process guidance that lead people to practice these new behaviours again and again, until they experience their value. For example, set up appraisals, salary reviews, and training to reinforce and reward the new behaviours you seek. At the same time, develop informal connections that foster the responsiveness and emotional commitment needed to deal with the unexpected. When there’s a challenging situation, like Shell’s reliability issue, cultivate support networks of people who can assess it and put in place actions not prescribed by process and procedure.

• Seek out role models for the new behaviour. Start with the most effective practitioners, the people who distinguish themselves by the way they act. We often call these individuals pride builders because their example helps instil pride about the behaviour change. They can also help you find ways to get others to adopt the same behaviour. This work is sometimes known as looking for positive deviance.

Several years ago, Bell Canada — a 35,000-employee telecommunications company owned by BCE Inc. — started with a dozen such pride builders. They rapidly became exemplars for others, and they helped explain to the executives why people did not always adhere to the critical behaviours. The CEO then asked the group to help develop at least 1,000 more exemplars by the end of the year. Each member of the first group identified 10 or more other pride builders, and the group took off exponentially. With several more iterations, this effort directly touched more than 15,000 employees — more than a third of the entire workforce — by the end of the year.

• Enlist your current “cultural carriers.” These are the people who are well positioned to transmit behaviours to others, and who can be developed to spread the positive elements of the existing culture. In the early 2000s, Reliant Energy recognized the value of cultural carriers during an operational performance improvement program. After defining a small set of behaviours for collaborative work across functional silos, Reliant identified the people who had to act differently in order for the new behaviour to take hold. Then, through a combination of training, incentives, and peer-to-peer reinforcement, Reliant induced these individuals to change first. This effort enabled the company to capture $600 million of value during the first nine months.

Any leader can do something similar, but take care that the effort is simple, clearly focused, collectively reinforcing, and not threatening to those who aren’t included. Suppose that you’re the head of strategy, frustrated at the way such new directives are executed. Have the top leadership identify 10 people who are linchpins of strategy execution — whose participation is critical to any serious strategic effort. Bring them together to talk about the barriers they face when trying to execute new ideas, and the ways that they might overcome those boundaries. Look for places where resources can be organized differently, and develop an agenda accordingly.

• Use the culture you already have. Take pains to stay within the most essential tenets of the existing culture. Make sure you understand clearly the reasons that current practices exist before you try to change them. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, many oil companies are being forced to change their safety and environmental practices. It can be surprisingly difficult to do so, because the existing performance contracts include strict requirements about timing and deadlines. The only way around this is to explicitly rethink those restrictions, taking on the difficult challenge of designing new behaviours that can improve safety while maintaining an acceptable pace. What is required here is an integration of process discipline and individual initiative and the courage to step up when the unexpected occurs.

• Model what matters most. Be a visible and consistent role model of the behaviour change you want to see in others. When he was interim CEO of General Motors leading the company’s remarkable transformation after the U.S. government bailout in 2009, Fritz Henderson repeatedly admonished his staff to be “individually and collectively accountable,” which meant focusing only on activities directly linked to business results. Henderson’s remarks didn’t have much impact until he provided examples. He posted e-mails with typos, showing that quick decisions were more important than painstaking attention to appearances. There were also more dramatic examples, like making nearly every major decision on the spot himself rather than waiting for consensus.

Perhaps the most telling moment came when Henderson was handed a 300-page binder of backup information as part of his preparation for testifying before the U.S. Congress. The next day, he asked his chief of staff to tell the research team to stop. “It must have taken 20 people a month to produce this report. And I’ll never use it. I’d rather have incomplete information [than this unnecessary work].”

• Clarify the specific implications of the new behaviour. The new CEO of a large financial-services institution announced one of his highest priorities: a new approach to managing the trade-offs on uncertain deals, which he called taking measured risks. Although he talked about it constantly, and employees understood its importance, many people still needed more guidance. “I work in legal,” someone might say, “and I’m not sure what this means to me. Am I supposed to be taking more risks, or am I supposed to help others by pulling on the reins when they go too far?” The answer might well have been “a bit of both,” but it needed to be spelled out.

Similarly, in the midst of any cost reduction exercise, people need guidance about new behaviours. How will they monitor expenses from now on? How should they call attention to wasteful activities that they do not control? If a utility shifts from being a government-owned enterprise to a privately held company, the culture may need to become more focused on customer service. What kinds of things could people do differently? What kinds of regular reminders can be put in place to reinforce key behaviours? Which aspects of subscriber outreach matter most?

Culture Consciousness in Times of Change

Every corporate culture has behaviours that will help you enable the change you want and others that will hinder it. As you become skilled at picking the enablers out and developing them, this kind of adaptability will become part of your own distinctive corporate identity. This is critical to the lasting success of peak-performing enterprises. Your culture can thus become a major factor supporting your strategy. Its overall strengths are one of your company’s intangible assets, and it should be factored into where you decide to compete, how you intend to win, and what operating model you work within.

As you continue to work with and within your culture, you will find it continually changes, keeping pace with the changes in the marketplace. Your operating model and the execution of your strategy will change accordingly. To be sure, deeply embedded cultures change slowly — far more slowly than the business environment. But some cultural elements can adapt more rapidly, particularly if you encourage your pride builders, culture carriers, and leading-edge thinkers to experiment with new ideas, such as digital media or new forms of customer service, and spread their experience through the networks that you have fostered.

Whatever happens in the outside world, however, keep your internal focus on the few critical behaviours that matter most — those that determine your strategic and operating performance. Find ways to measure both the behaviour change itself, and the results it produces. Resist the temptation to attempt changes in the behaviours, attitudes, and values of the system all at once. Remember, it is much easier to act your way into new thinking than to think your way into new actions.

Reprint No. 11108

AUTHOR PROFILES:

 

RESOURCES

  1. Joel Cooper, Cognitive Dissonance: Fifty Years of a Classic Theory (Sage, 2007): Solid introduction to Leon Festinger’s grand idea and its relevance to today’s conflicts.
  2. Jon Katzenbach and Zia Khan, Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the (In)Formal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results (Jossey-Bass, 2010): Integrating formal and informal measures (with more on the Aetna story).
  3. Jon Katzenbach and Zia Khan, “Leading Outside the Lines,” s+b, Summer 2010: How StockPot, a division of Campbell’s Soup, used metrics to shift cultural behaviour.
  4. Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin, The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems (Harvard Business Press, 2010): Changing behaviour by championing people who get better results.
  5. Edgar H. Schein, The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (rev. ed., Jossey-Bass, 2009): Realistic, masterful handbook for diagnosing your culture and raising its tacit assumptions to the surface.
  6. The Katzenbach Center website: Ongoing source of research and insight on culture change theories and methods.
  7. For more thought leadership on this topic, visit s+b’s website at: www.strategy-business.com/organizations_and_people

 

Die reis na binne

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Transformasie

Hy vertel oa in die berig oor ‘n gesprek by die Helde-akker in Windhoek met  Ben Khadila ‘n oud Swapo-vegter en vandag komm. Ben Khadila, bevelvoerder van die Namibiese spesiale magte: Ek en Ben Khadila het eenkant gepraat oor sy lang jare in die bos as ’n Swapo-vegter. Ben het geamuseerd om hom rondgekyk en met ’n effense glimlag gesê: “Daar is geen oorwinnaars hier vanaand nie. Vrede is die enigste oorwinnaar.”

Dit is nie moeilik om uit die berig agter te kom dat die “reis” werklik helend van aard is vir soldate wat wil vrede maak met hulle geweldadige verlede en sekerlik ook met die vrae oor die regverdigheid van die oorlog wat so baie van ons lewens op soveel verskillende maniere geraak het.

My vraag is nie in die eerste plek oor die spesifieke doel van die projek nie, maar het te make met die bereidheid van oud-soldate om die reis na binne te onderneem. In dieselfde uitgawe van Rapport word vertel van die NG Kerk wat jaarliks 10588 lidamte verloor! ( http://www.rapport.co.za/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/NG-Kerk-verloor-10-588-in-n-jaar-20101106 ) Ons kan ‘n ander dag oor hierdie statistiek praat. Agter die statistiek is daar mense se verhale baie ook van pyn en verlies. Predikante wat hulle werk verloor, geboue wat verkoop word, lidmate wat die kerk waarin hulle grootgeword het verlaat. Soos in die geval van die oud-soldate is hier ook verhale wat roep om genesing, wat vra na ‘n reis na binne.

By beide die berigte is daar stringe komentare binne enkele ure gepubliseer. Dit is ontstellend om dit te lees omdat meeste daarvan getuig van woede, telleurstelling, verwyte en is sommer net gewoon beledigend. Die kommentaar is meestal van mense wat ander mense en instellings verwyt vir wat hulle verkeerd gedoen het in die verlede. Die NG Kerk word met vennyn beskuldig van allerlei politieke en geestelike en teologiese dwalinge en sommer net daar afgeskryf. Nogal sleg om dit te lees, maar ek dink meeste van ons sal verstaan dat dit is hoe dit lyk wanneer mense geraak word deur ‘n diep samelewingstransformasie waar die foute van die verlede nie weggesteek kan word nie.

Ek dink die oud-soldate het met iets begin waarby ons almal kan leer. Hulle het nie die vinger na ander gewys nie, maar self op reis gegaan na binne om sin te probeer maak uit die trauma van die verlede.  My indruk is dat hulle dit met deernis doen teenoor almal – in die woorde van oud-soldaat Blackie  “’n Mens besef nou… Elke ou wat jy doodgeskiet het, het ook ’n ma of ’n pa, ’n broer of ’n suster gehad.”  Ook Roland de Vries sê prontuit: “Elke man (later ook vrou) tel.”

Ek kom by baie gemeentes waar daar nog met vrymoedigheid vinger gewys word en ‘n sondebok gesoek word. Hoewel ‘n mens die woede agter die verlies-ervarings van leë kerke en bankrekeinge verstaan, kan ons dit nie daar laat sonder om almal saam die reis na binne te onderneem nie. Ons moet eenvoudig deur die woede en die verwyte kan werk om saam ‘n nuwe toekoms te kan ontvang.

Wat my die meeste verwonder van die oud-soldate is dat hulle verstaan dat dit nie ‘n kopstorie alleen is nie, maar ‘n storie van die hart en die hand. Op hulle reis is daar duidelik ruimte om deur die emosies te praat, maar verder om ook die verlede fisies in die oë te kyk en onder die kremetartboom in Angola te gaan staan en saam die trauma te beleef en daardeur te werk.

Ek hoop ons is in ons gemeentes dapper genoeg om as deel van die krimpende kerk die reis na binne te onderneem om so gereed te raak om ‘n nuwe toekoms te kan ontvang!

Is Roeping kennis of ‘n nuwe leefstyl?

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Transformasie

 

Brain Mclaren vertel van ‘n geprek met Peter Senge – die ghoeroe van sisteemdinke- oor wat nou vir predikante belangrik sou wees. Senge vertel dat hy vir ‘n bestuurder van ‘n boekwinkel vra wat vandag die topverkopres is. Hoe om geld te maak is en was nog altyd in die VSA bo aan die lys, se die bestuurder, maar tweede is spiritualiteit. Nie boeke oor religion as a set of beliefs nie, maar as way of life. Daarom verkoop soveel boeke oor Budisme vandag, vertel die boekwinkel bestuurder. Ek weet ons moet nie die twee teenoor mekaar stel nie, maar as die boekverkoopsyfers reg is, sal ons moet leer om mense te begelei om christenskap te sien as ‘n manier van lewe, dissipleskap eerder as lidmaatskap van ‘n godsdienstige organisasie wat ‘n stel waarhede verkondig.

Maak nogal vir my sin as ek so in die koerante lees oor wat daar oor kerke en christenskap geskryf word, min mense is teen die idees van Christus, Die vrae en agressie het te make met ons onvermoe om wat ons bely te leef. Ek dink ons weet nie hoe om in gemeentes dissiples te vorm nie. Ons maak van mense lidmate van lojaal en betrokke in die gemeente moet wees, mar slaag nie daarin om ‘n beweging te wees waarin mense gevrom word as dissiples nie.

 

Peter Senge het my gehelp om iets te verstaan van wat ‘n gemeente kan doen om ‘n leefstyl te kweek. Dit  is  baie eenvoudiger- so eenvoudig dat ons dit moeilik glo-Roeping moet vertaal kan word in ‘n leefstyl waarin ons mekaar help om in oorstemming met ons Roeping te leef

Die gemeente kan ‘n beweging word wat vanself loop-of in die taal van sisteemdenke- “reinforcing” energie losmaak, indien mense in die gemeente gehelp word om die nuwe gedrag wat die roeping vra, in te oefen totdat hulle dit bemeester het.  Wanneer gemeentelede die nuwe gedrag bemeester het, kan hulle dit op enige plek leef sonder dat die leierskap noodwendig teenwoordig is of inisiatief neem. Dan kan hulle innoverend daarmee begin werk en daar waar hulle leef en werk.

Voordat ek ‘n paar opmerkings maak oor ‘n moontlike proses van beligaming eers net dit. Elders op die webblad sal julle ‘n artikel vind van Dirkie Smit oor die gereformeerde “gewoonte” om eers te “bely” en dan te “beliggaam”. Vir gereformeerders se het as ek reg onthou gaan ons belydenis altyd vooraf, maar dan is dit vir ons belangrik dat die belydenis ook beliggaam moet word. Daarom het gereformeerdes naas belydenisskrufte ook Kerkordes geskryf om te help met die beliggaming van die belydenis. Ek dink dit is waar dinge ontspoor het. Deur reels te skep oor hoe ‘n belydenis beligaam moet word, beteken nie noodwendig dat dit lewenswandel beinvloed nie. Dalk is Senge se idee van die persoonlike in-oefening van nuwe gedrag nader aan die kol as die skep van reels.

Ons het ‘n ernstige problem om al ons woorde te vertaal in ‘n nuwe leefstyl. trouens ons het soveel woorde dat nog meer woorde ons ongeloofwaardig maak. Ons probleem is dan dat ons die ongeloofwaardigheid probeer regstel met nog meer studie, nog meer woorde, nog mer verklarings van voorneme, maar die energie of visie om dit te begin leef- ontbreek.  Ek dink ons kan hieroor baie leer by tradisies met ‘n groter gerigtheid op die praktyk. Ek het die afgelope tyd baie te doen gehad met gemeentes in die platteland waar hulle lidmate verloor na charismatiese groepe of kleiner huiskerke.  In een van die gesprekke hoor ek die volgende:

Frederick dit is eintlik eenvoudig hierdie mense doen dat hulle glo. Hier word gebid, gesorg, mense kom tot inkeer. Ek het dit nog nooit ervaar in ons tradisie nie! Ek wil maar net my geloof uitoefen maar in ons ou gemeente is dit altyd ‘n geveg met strukture en reels, ons kom nie by die doen uit nie.

Natuurlik is die opmerking naief, daar sal ook konflik kom in die nuwe gemeente, maar ek dink ons moet luister na die boodskap. Is ons nie so vasgevang in kerklike bagasie dat ons die mees basiese van ons roeping as gelofsgemeenskappe nie meer spontaan leef nie?

Ons sal moet ophou om weg te kruip in ons koppe en begin leef wat ons bely.

1.Vertaal die roeping of visie van die gemeente in terme van gedrag- of leefstyl. Hoe lyk dit as mense die roeping begin leef, wat doen hulle oor en oor? Hierdie vraag dwing ons om nie net met algemene konsepte te werk nie, maar konkreet te raak. Dit dwing ons uit die gemaksone van die teorie na die praktyk. Bv indien die roeping van die gemeente praat van ‘n lewe saam met God- sou dit tog oa konkreet beteken dat mense gehelp word om God se stem in die Woord te hoor. Om met God te lewe is tog oa om sy stem te hoor. Lees gerus meer oor beliggaming en sintuiglikheid op Danie Mouton se blog Reisgeselskap

2.Gaan verder en omskep hierdie gedrag in ‘n gewoonte wat maklik aangeleer kan word en oor en oor in die gemeente gedoen kan word. In terme van die voorbeeld hierbo sou die Wandel in die Woord metodiek kon werk. Mense leer dit maklik aan, dit is 3-4 eenvoudige stappe en kan binne ‘n paar sessie begin om deel te neem hieraan.

3.Oefen die gewoonte in totdat die deelnemers die metodiek, of noem dit maar vaardigheid bemeester het. Die beste manier is om hulle dit self te laat doen en nog beter om hulle in posisie te stel waar hulle ander leer hoe om dit te doen- dit is die teach-to-learn beginsel. Met bemeestering bedoel Senge dat hulle nie net die inhoud ken, of die vaardigheid aangeleer het nie, maar ook dat hulle die gesindheid of houding van die gewoonte beliggaam. Met Wandel in die Woord is dit bv belangrik om ons ekspert posisie prys te gee- asof die Bybel ‘n stuk gereedskap in ons hand is, en onsself oop te stel dat die Gees deur die Woord nuut met ons kan praat.

4.Moedig mense aan om die gewoonte oral en met almal wat oor hulle pad kom te probeer en skep geleenthede waar mense daarom met mekaar kan getuig.

‘n Gemeente neem die dapper stap om hulle pinkster nie weer ‘n preekreeks te maak nie, maar ‘n geleentheid waar mense gehelp word om Lexio Divina te doen. Gemeentelede word genooi om elke aand te kom om die dissipline in te oefen. Hulle leer oa prakties hoe om stil te word voor die Here deur middel van ‘n asemhalingsoefening. Een van die predikante loop ‘n lidmaat by die bank raak. Hoe gaan dit, vra hy soos gebruiklik. Ek haal asem, antwoord hy en kan in my besige lewe arla waar ek kom binne oomblikke stil word en konnekteer met die Here! Wat het hier gebeur? Vir ‘n volle Pinkster is een vaardigheid van die gemeente se Roeping- om te kan stil word voor die Here- ingeoefen, gedemonstreer, weer ge-oefen, weer gedemonstreer, totdat die lidmaat dit bemeester het en nou kan hy dit oral leef. Die ou waarheid van stil word by die Here, het nou vir hom ‘n leefwyse geword!

 

Dit is nie moeilik om raak te sien hoe so ‘n bemeestering van eenvoudige vaardighede ‘n byna onkeerbare beweging tot gevolg sal he. Ek het die naweek in ‘n gemeente gewerk waar hulle nou die roeping van die gemeente wil implementeer. In die verlede sou ons nou begin het met strategie, strukture en prioriteite. Hoeveel kere het ek dit nie al met gemeentes gedoen nie, en dan kom daar nie eintlik iets van nie, want daar is nie mense wat die roeping kan leef nie. Om die Bybel aan te haal- Fil 1:27 vradat onslewenswandel in ooreenstemming wees met die evangelie. Lewenswandel in die griekspoliteuomaibeteken om as burger van die gemeenskap, maw in die publike so te lewe. Dit gaan oor roeping en dit gaan oor lewenswandel- publieke lewenswandel en die inoefening van die roeping totdat ons ditmet integriteit kan lewe in die publiek. Dit is tog wat ons in eredienste doen- ons doen rituele oor en oor in die publiek.

Ek is verbaas hoe moeilik ons dit vind om in hierdie terme te dink. Ek dink dit is omdat ons geleer is om met inhoude te werk- kopinhoude- ons kan die Bybel uitle, ons kan teologies daaroor praat en ‘n roeping formuleer, maar ons het dikwel nie ‘n clue hoe om mense te lei om die roeping te leef nie, om te politeuomai nie. Dan begin ons maar weer om ‘n nuwe roeping (lees kopskepping)te formuleer en draai ons so net meer vas want op die grond het min of niks verander nie behalwe dat die dominees darem ‘n paar temas gekry het vir sy preke. Wat onbs eerder moet doen is om aan te hou om die vaardighede in te oefen, in sommige gevalle neem dit nie maande nie maar jare totdat dit bemester is en ‘n leefwyse geword het. In ‘n gemeente wat susksesvol is met hulle fokus hierop hoor ek dat hulle dissipleskapgroepe eers na twee jaar by die punt gekom het dat die groepslede selfstandig raak in die uitleef van hulle roeping. Laat ‘n mens weer ‘n keer dink aan hoe Jesus vir 3 jaar met die klein groep dissiples gewerk het.

‘n Laaste opmerking- moenie ophou voor mense- en onsselfdie nuwe gedragnie bemeester het nie. Die naweek het ons op ‘n stadium in die proses vasgeval- ons het verskil van mekaar. Ons het in die proses al dikwels hier gekom- ons verskil, raak driftig, begin mekaar te kritiseer, selfs te beskuldig van eie ego ens en dit word morsig. Maar hierdie Sondag oggend was dit anders, een van die leiers wat baie sterk oor sy saak gevoel het, het die proses gestop en gese- kan ek net eers seker maak of ek jou reg gehoor het, en rustig die standpunt waarvan hy verskil ge-eggo. Ja, antwoord die ander leier, jy het my reg gehoor, dit lyk my ons is nie so ver van mekaar as wat ek gedink het nie. Die twee leiers het die kuns om te luister in situasies waar daar drygende konflik is, bemeester. Niemand hoef hulle voor te geskryf het nie, omdat hulle dit bemeester kon hulle dit self implementeer. Maak dit ‘n verskil- dit maak die wereld se verskil- in so ‘n mate dat ‘n skeptiese deelnemers aan die proses nou skielik se, ek dink hier is regtig iets aan die gebeur.
Hoe lank het dit geneem- maar net twee jaar om die kultuur van kritiek en afkraak om te draai na ‘n kultuur van luister! Maar ek sal verbaas wees indien die gemeente weer sal terugkeer tot die ou kultuur van kritiseer daar is te veel mense wat die vaardigheid van luister bemeester het- dit gaan nie maklik gekeer kan word nie.

 

Why Partnerships are the future of American Congregations

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Transformasie

The event came together organically. Joy Skjegstad and I first talked about an on-site, face-to-face event based on material she had developed in two previous books and a number of online webinars for Alban. I put together an online event flyer and a PDF file to email to potential supporters of the idea. Joy knew Al Tizon, Director of Word and Deed Network, from her previous work in Philadelphia. Al put us in touch with Ruben Ortiz from Esperanza, who provided scholarship assistance for some of their members who otherwise might not be able to afford to attend. Al also made possible the use of meeting facilities at Palmer Theological Seminary, where he also teaches; put two Sider Center Scholars at our disposal for the entire day; and arranged for overnight housing for the leaders of the workshop.

We didn’t experience a miraculous erasure of differences, many of which really do matter. And the Reign of God did not break in before we broke up and headed home at 4:00 p.m. Yet this fortuitous network of partners provides a compelling model, I believe, for congregational ministries of the future, if they are to have the resources necessary to carry out their various current projects, much less flourish and grow into new areas of faithfulness, responsibility, and vitality.

All these glorious parts of the larger community of the people of God acted like partners for these few precious hours. We yoked ourselves together and pulled in a common direction. And when it was said and done, we were glad not just for what we had learned, but for the fact that we had learned it together, differences and all.
We got a glimpse of what is possible in partnerships; and in the process we met new colleagues and we made new friends.  We saw into the future for a few hours what American congregations might look like, gathered rather than scattered, much less internally divided or opposed to one another. It was worth the trip, and worth getting metaphorical sand in my shoes. I hope that my Head Start students, now middle-aged, would have been proud to see in action what I first learned from them.