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Change: I Embrace It, But Many Don’t

Relevant change is important among almost all industries. I emphasize the importance of relevant change that will benefit you and your organization, both personally and financially.

Unfortunately, many don’t embrace change that will help them or their organization.

Let me give you a couple examples:

  1. As an industry changed, the nonprofit’s leader was not willing to change how and what they delivered to their beneficiaries. The needed change would not result in mission drift. Rather it involved recognizing that their audience was changing and they needed to address this reality. The organization has lost 46% of their corporate, foundation, association and individual donors.

  2. A six-decade-old association hired a change-agent as their new executive director. They embarked on a strategic planning process. The plan that was developed was really good and would move the organization in a more futuristic direction. Affiliated organizations were excited about the association’s new direction. A small group of vocal members, only .6% of the membership, pushed back on the changes that were being implemented. (That’s six-tenths of one percent of the members.) The leader resigned and the association’s future is in jeopardy.

Typically, there are three ways people react to change:

  1. Non-active and they don’t move forward.

  2. Reactive and they only react when something serious happens like the loss of a job or the organization is on the verge of bankruptcy.

  3. Proactive, which is ideal. You are anticipating the future, the need to change and you are more in control of the situation.

In one organization, the leader had no clarity on how the industry was changing. In the other, the leader was changing the organization to succeed, but its members truly didn’t want change.

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