Monday, May 21, 2012

Accepting Slow and Incremental Change

The Church has moved somewhat slowly in some areas, but it also has moved quite quickly in others - and when it moves, it tends to move MUCH more quickly than other religions. It's a mixed bag in that regard, but I've seen too many organizations (including religious ones) that have moved too quickly and suffered terribly for it to want the Church to move more quickly on everything.

Of course, there are issues where I wish things could have happened more quickly, but as someone who has studied and implemented organizational change management, I recognize the principle articulated in the Allegory of the Olive Tree in Jacob 5 - that the bad fruit can't be pruned faster than the strength of the root to absorb the trauma.

Something for consideration:

That's true of individuals every bit as much as for organizations.  Radical surgery sometimes saves - but sometimes it kills.


Gwennaƫlle said...

Thank you for writing something that brings me a little sunshine. It is raining like bad here as I type :)
Since last week I understand that if things don't go as fast as I would like because the change needed is "obvious" it is only because I can handle a change that would go quick and (to me) painless. It is not the case for everyone.
It is nice to have something nailing it a little deeper in a soft and gentle way.

Howard said...

Papa D,
Could you provide a few examples of the church moving rapidly during your lifetime? Are you referring to OD2, the 1978 response to the civil rights movement that began in the 50s?

Papa D said...

You're welcome, Gwen.

Howard, I wasn't thinking of OD2, especially since it took so long to receive - but the LDS Church tackled racial integration and leadership in local congregations extremely quickly in comparison to other Christian denominations. We have black leaders of predominantly white congregations in quite a few areas, while most Protestant congregations in many areas still are strictly segregated by race.

Doctrinal changes generally take a while (the slow and incremental changes I mentioned), but organizational changes and general mobilization efforts occur quite quickly.