7 Times When It is Not A Good Time To Change

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I’ve never been a proponent of the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sometimes you need a change and nothing is “broke”. It just isn’t as good as it could be, it’s keeping other things from being better, or it’s soon going to be broke unless you change.

But, there are times not to change — certainly when you are not ready to change.

Here are 7 times not to change:

When there isn’t a compelling purpose - There should always be a why. It might be as simple as if you don’t change you’re going to be bored out of your mind — but have a reason before you change.

When there are no good leaders behind it – You need people who buy into the change. If a change has value you can usually find supporters. They may be few. They may do nothing more than speak up for the change, but if no one can get excited about the change, you probably need to raise up some supporters before moving forward. (There are rare exceptions to this one, but again, they are rare.)

When you haven’t defined a win – Changing before you know what success looks like will keep you running in a lot of ineffective directions without much progress.

When the loss is more expensive than the win – Sometimes the cost just isn’t worth it. You can’t justify the people and resource expense for the potential return.

When the leader isn’t motivated – There are times to wait if senior leadership can’t get excited or at least support the change if push back develops. Eventually, without their support, you’ll be less likely to experience sustaining, successful change.

When too many other things are changing – Any organization or group of people can only handle so much change at a time. This requires great discernment on the part of leaders to know when there is too much change occurring and it is best to wait for something new.

When an organization is in crisis mode – When a ship is sinking, fix the leak or bail some water, before you choose your next destination. When things are in crisis, is not the time to make a ton of changes. There may be needed changes to get things moving again, but catch your breath first, make sure a core of people is solid behind the vision, and take careful steps to plan intentional, helpful and needed change.

This isn’t intended as a checklist. I would never want to stop someone from making needed changes. I love change. But, I do want to encourage better change. I hope this helps.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “7 Times When It is Not A Good Time To Change

  1. Great advice and wisdom Ron. Sure does away with the idea of "change for change sake." I think some churches pride themselves into being so innovative the innovate themselves right out of the picture.

  2. Great wisdom. Thank you! I would also say NEVER change anything until you have checked that your motive for change is wholly-holy aligned with God's heart. Like the song: Jesus Friend Of Sinners Says: Break our hearts for what breaks yours and let us lead by Mercy because the divine commission is all about change, the heart of the gospel is about destiny change and it is this motive that should be the common denominator of all changes. If it is not on God's Heart, then it won't affect good change, it will break spirits. Change is good if it bends our will, leaning us into the Sovereign Sway of God, but bad if it breaks our spirit.
    Twitter: kmac4him