Tuesday, 12 April 2011
identifying the adaptive challenge
I'm pondering how much I've clearly, although unwittingly, been influenced by the work of Ron Heifetz. He's written various books around change and doesn't appear on our radar, here on planet church UK, for two (we would say) very good reasons: i. he's American & ii. he writes out of the business leadership school. 'Leadership without Easy Answers'; Leadership on the line' & 'Practice of Adaptive Leadership' tend to be his quoted works.
Heifetz name keeps cropping up in the sidelines of our Partnership for Missional Church UK pilot. We believe already we're learning a tremendous amount about changing the culture within our churches towards a missional environment and, now I'm actually reading Heifetz for myself, a number of the really beneficial insights stem from him.
Here's six principles he identifies for 'leading adaptive work, which if I said was family systems theory, you may well take notice!:
1. Getting on the balcony (one of those lovely Americanisms, but we know what it means!)
2. Identifying the adaptive challenge.
3. Regulating distress.
4. Maintaining disciplined attention.
5. Giving the work back to the people.
6. Protecting voices of leadership from below.
Now, when I read Ephesians 4, I might change the words, but it sure sounds like the work of Ministry to me. It's also why the pension fund is not our biggest crisis.