November 2013: Working through Change

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

The constancy of change might be a fact of life in the 21st century, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  Senior Consultant Maureen Gallagher offers some steps to take for organizations that want to enact change while minimizing adverse reaction from staff or constituents.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • At our retreat in October, The Reid Group focused on the concept of sustainability and developing approaches to a sustainable future for our clients.
  • We are preparing for our second visit to the Archdiocese of New York for the Cluster training sessions December 3 & 4, in service to the 368 parishes in 10 counties.  Cardinal Dolan will join representatives of The Reid Group for a meeting with the Archdiocesan Advisory Group on December 2.
  • The next in our teleconference series will be held on November 20–see the sidebar for more information and a link to register.
  • We have been engaged by the University of San Diego for a search for the Chair of the Theology and Religious Studies department.
  • John Reid gave a retreat earlier in November for a Catholic community outside of Baltimore, MD on “Living as the People of God.”

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

We are pleased to announce the next in The Reid Group teleseminar series.

You are invited to attend our call on November 20, 2013 at 5 pm ET. The call will be co-hosted by Tom Reid and Maureen Gallagher, Senior Consultants with The Reid Group and will focus on dealing with change, loss and growth.

At The Reid Group, we are focused on helping leaders and organizations meet the challenges that threaten their future viability as an organization, and to transform those challenges into opportunities for new growth. We created the Sustainable Future Audit tool to help leaders discern the precise nature and scope of their challenges so they can address them in a comprehensive way.

During this teleseminar, important questions and suggestions will be presented for how to navigate change, recognize loss(es), while identifying opportunities for growth. 

Space is limited, so register today.

Feature Focus

Working through Change


Maureen Gallagher, Senior Consultant

Change is in abundance! Pick up any newspaper or magazine today and there is a good chance that you will find a news article about change.  It may focus on cosmic changes, changes in technology, changes in medicine, or changes in family life, plus a myriad of other changes.

Significant change affects other changes.  How you use your cell phone affects relationships.  How your health evolves affects the quality of your life and that of your family. A change in one part of the world affects the stock market and thus your investments.  Very few changes have isolated impact.  Most change affects whole systems and often the transitions bring about loss.

Managing change well will not alleviate loss, but will lessen some of the pain of loss.  Organizational change needs to be managed well in three areas:

  1. Input from those affected by the change
  2. Good communication throughout the change process
  3. Support and re-training, if needed, to be sure the change is implemented well

Here are ten steps that can be taken to address the areas named above:

  1. Establish a representative planning committee made up of those who may have been elected to leadership, as well as those who represent the community (religious, corporate or civic community).  Call forth a subcommittee to be in charge of on-going communication.  Communicate, both internally and externally, as appropriate.
  2. Create a case statement for the need for change. Establish the boundaries and criteria for decision making related to the change.
  3. Invite those who will be affected to brainstorm some solutions in the areas where change is needed. Study the ideas that have been generated by the brainstorming to discern pros and cons of each one.  Communicate these to all involved.
  4. Develop different scenarios flowing from the analysis in number three above, which address the issues involved in the change and widely communicate these.  Seek input on the scenarios.
  5. Based on input, create a proposal which reflects the wisdom of the community and is within the boundaries or criteria established above.
  6. Seek input on the proposal.  Ask those responding to state their rationale for the input they are providing.
  7. Further refine the proposal based on input, moving toward using consensus as the ideal way to come to a decision about the changes needed.
  8. Make a decision in light of the common good and the available resources with an eye toward the positive impact of the decision long term.
  9. Acknowledge the loss and the need for letting go that needs to happen in the change process.  Ritualize this, allow for a time of grieving. Focus on a hope-filled future.
  10. Provide support and training as needed so all can be successful in implementing the decision.

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek. 
Barack Obama

People don’t resist change.  They resist being changed.
Peter Senge


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from


And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.
Kathy Johnson, Editor
Transforming Challenges
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