Ever been part of an organization that desperately needed to change? Most of us have had that experience and found ourselves looking for other organizations that needed to change and then figured out how to do it. I was only at Lake Avenue Church a few days when I realized it was a very different place than Fellowship of The Woodlands. Fellowship was just 10 years old when I left. Very intentional about how it did what it did. Exponential growth over a very short decade.
And then I walked into Lake Avenue. 108 years old when I arrived. Very different and awkward leadership structure. Virtually nothing designed to have impact. The difference was incredible and very hard to adjust to. I found myself losing a lot of sleep trying to figure out how to help change happen. It got to the place where I bought a couple 2 Liters of Coke and put them on my desk as a kind of living parable. You can read the Coke story here. Tough times. I finally came to the conclusion that changing a 108 year old organization is really harder than turning an oil tanker. Or at least in the case of that particular change project it was more like trying to pull the Exxon Valdez off the rocks and then turn it. Which brings us to the Girl Scouts.
Need an example of how an organization that desperately needed to change actually got around to changing? Great example in this video post by Bill Taylor about changes at the Girl Scouts. If you’re in a place that needs to change you need to see this video.
By the way, when I’m checking out the latest on the blogs I read there are some that I check out first. There are some that I look at only if I’ve checked everything else out already. And then there are some that I wait until I’ve got enough time to give them the time they deserve. The Mavericks at Work blog falls in the 3rd category. The book, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, is without question the best book I’ve read over the last 5 years (and I read a lot of books!). The blog is now supplemented by an occasional video blog post over at Bill Taylor’s Game Changer Blog, part of Harvard’s Discussion Leader network of business blogs.