Now It's Time To Communicate

Katie Fisher

You’ve looked at the stats.
You’ve weighed all the options.
You’ve counted the costs.
You’ve gotten feedback from the team.
You’ve prayed.
You’ve got your leaders aligned.
You’ve made the decision.

It’s time to make a change. Now what?

Over the years, both in my experience in ministry and in the corporate world, I have found that the vast majority of failed initiatives are not the result of a bad decision or bad information, but of poor communication. As leaders, we tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the front end of decision-making and very little time, if any at all, considering how we might utilize effective communication to drive the change we hope for and produce the results we want.

No leader wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “How can I create confusion today?”  or “I sure hope I do something today that tanks the trust my team has in me.”  But all too often what was meant to make the organizations we lead healthier, more efficient, and more effective winds up producing the opposite results.

Getting to the finish line on making a decision can be exhausting and the wave that washes over us once resolve and resolution are reached is just peaceful enough to tempt us into believing that the hard work is done. In reality, we’ve simply finished the swim portion in the triathlon of leadership, and we’ve still got cycling and running to go!

High-performing leaders, teams and organizations understand the power of effective communication and recognize that their ability to produce results and, in the case of ministry, reach people for Christ, depends largely on their ability to effectively communicate change. 

Here are four questions I have found to be helpful in leading and communicating change in our organization:

  1. Is there anything in my leadership that needs to be adjusted to ensure my actions are aligned with the change we are about to make?
  2. What systems and structures exist in our organization that are not currently in alignment with this change, and what plans are in place to address those in order to create consistency?
  3. What are the key messages about this change that will help ensure everyone who is communicating is saying the same thing?
  4. What formal communication channels need to be utilized to ensure the right people have the right information about this change at the right time to produce the right results?

Most of us, when we think of communication, tend to think about question number four and likely do a fairly good job at building a communication plan that includes a great email and maybe a meeting or two, but I have found that the more time I spend on questions one and two, the better my results are because everything we DO, as leaders, communicates SOMETHING. And we know that the effectiveness of leadership lies in the DO much more than it lies in the SAY.

Katie Fisher is the Executive Director of Rock City Church, a multi-site church based out of Columbus, Ohio. Prior to stepping into full-time ministry, Katie led communications and organizational development at a global, Fortune 500 company.

She and her husband moved to Columbus and planted Rock City in 2011. They have been married for 21 years and have two daughters, Morgan and Macy.

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