01 Jun #4 Change For The Better
Earlier this year, Positive Alternative Radio (PAR) proudly announced that it had been certified as a
Best Christian Workplace by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). It is a high honor,
which is bestowed—or denied, based on the results of BCWI’s Engagement Survey.
Survey results are compiled from anonymous feedback submitted by the registered organization’s team members.
Here, we will look at the fourth highest ranking result—Over the past year, my organization has changed for the better—and show you how to reflect those same positive values within your own organization.
Dear Christian Radio,
We have seen our fair share of change here at PAR in the last five years. Some changes you can’t see coming: transmitter failures, the departure of team members, economy shifts, etc. These are all changes over which you have no control; you simply have to adjust and make the best out of it.
Then there is the type of change you initiate. This type of change is for the better.
- Change that improves your culture
- Change that increases ratings
- Change that makes others ask to be a part of your station/organization
When starting in leadership, someone told me to get comfortable with change, because from here on out it was going to be the only constant that I could bet on. They were right! So, be proactive, look at what you can change for the better. Let’s start with assessment.
What can you improve? What systems are broken? How can you increase buy-in? How do we move up in the market? Questions like these can go on forever, but the important thing to ask is are you assessing these things? If you aren’t, you need to be, because there are things that are constantly changing whether you like it or not. As a leader, it is your responsibility to be looking for ways to change for the better. You get to lead the charge toward being better. You may have a great idea that works flawlessly for months or even years, but there will come a day when that system or idea is useless. After all, none of us are still spinning records or playing carts.
Systems and equipment should be easy for leaders to assess, what about buy-in and culture? To make any change you have to have buy-in from your team. I would argue that having buy-in is even more important than the change itself. When you update your automation system or phone system in your building, you still need buy-in to make those changes. I’m sure the automation system is smarter or has more features, but that means nothing to your weekend air talent that is now overwhelmed, or your office manager who now can’t check the station voicemail without having a panic attack.
These changes are meant to be for the better, but they can and do have an impact on the culture when implemented in a vacuum. Suddenly, your spiffy equipment upgrade has now become a communication issue and will quickly become a culture problem. Change is necessary, but make sure you have buy-in, first.
Don’t confuse buy-in with full consent, because if you do, change will never happen. You have to have enough buy-in to make the change a reality. As a leader you get to cultivate that change, although it may only start with one person on your team. For that person, lay out your vision so they can better understand, adopt, and champion the change. Remarkably, excitement will begin to spread from person to person once the first person begins to buy-in.
You will also have to communicate the why behind the change. Only stating that the change is going to happen isn’t enough. In fact, doing only that could create even greater resistance. If you can make your team feel like they are a part of the change, then they will be more willing to help move the change along—strengthening your team in the process.
My basketball experience isn’t as inspiring as Michael Jordan’s, but I can still hear my 7th grade basketball coach yelling, “Hustle!” I wasn’t the fastest or the best; in fact, I was lucky to even play. My uniform was too small for all my baby fat, but it was all they had for the B team. And of course, when I got to play, we were either way ahead or so far behind it didn’t matter. When the coach gave me the look and put me in the game, the expectation was still the same…hustle. Whether I scored or not, I was there to give it all I had.
When it comes time to start making changes for the better, you need to hustle. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. By this point you have already assessed the need and received the necessary buy-in to move forward; now it’s time to implement the change. Don’t be afraid. Be excited and ready to work through the pain points. Don’t make the mistake of taking too long to make your desired changes happen or you will quickly lose both momentum and positive energy. Worse still, you run the risk of losing the confidence of your team. That’s why—when the time comes—leaders hustle.
Finally, I hear it said all the time, “Change is hard.” The truth…change is what you make it. If you tell yourself and your team, “Guys, this is going to be tough.” Then tough is exactly what you will get. Good change is also, exciting, engaging, world changing, and life giving. Remember, you are the leader, so make whatever change you have in mind something worth following.
Now get out there and go change the world!
Dear Christian Radio…
- Assess – Always be looking for changes that will make you better.
- Buy-in – This is what will make your change stick.
- Hustle – Don’t wait too long before making the change.
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