Books: “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter


Leading Change

Chapter 6, “Communicating the Change Vision”

But the real power of a vision is unleashed only when most of those involved in an enterprise or activity have a common understanding of its goals and direction.  (85)

I find this especially difficult as well.  In a church everyone generally has their own opinion about what should happen.

Getting a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand people to understand and accept a particular vision is usually an enormously challenging undertaking.  (87)

Yes, it’s like herding cats!

Key Elements in the Effective Communication of Vision  (90)

  • Simplicity:  All jargon and technobabble must be eliminated.  Say it like “regular” people. Cut out all the hyper-intelligent and hyper-theological jargon. 
  • Metaphor, analogy, and example:  A verbal picture is worth a thousand words.  People have got to see it.  Draw them a picture of a preferred future.
  • Multiple forums:  Big meetings and small, memos and newspapers, formal and informal interaction—all are effective for spreading the word.  Put it everywhere; newsletter, bulletin, sermons, etc. . .
  • Repetition:  Ideas sink in deeply only after they have been heard many times. Talk about it, write about it, and advertise it until you think you’ve talked about it too much.
  • Leadership by example:  Behavior from important people that is inconsistent with the vision overwhelms other forms of communication.  Walk the walk and talk the talk.
  • Explanation of seeming inconsistencies:  Unaddressed inconsistencies undermine the credibility of all communication. You must live the vision in front of people. You will undermine your credibility if you don’t.