Act As If Then Is Now: Strategic Change Management

Are you preparing now to create your future?


Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries—the largest church in the United States. He uniquely understands the importance of preparing for and managing change, not to mention rapid growth! In this video, Andy shares his leadership principles for understanding why change management is important and the two key areas on which to focus as an investment in the future.

Watch this video and take time to think about the change needed in your organization.

Transition is always stressful, even good transitions. All transitions are stressful. Taking your kid to first grade for the first day, it's a necessary transition. You're not going to look back. You're not going to withdraw your kids because it's stressful. All transitions, even good ones are stressful.

Growth within an organization is change. It's a transition into something new, so it's going to be stressful. So for the leader, the business leader or the not-for-profit leader, as you experience the tension, that's normal. That's nothing to be afraid of.

But what you have to keep your eye on are two parallel lines. One is the systems, and one is growth, and as growth outstrips systems, there is a necessary tension and pressure on an organization. So the problem is keeping the systems in sync with growth is expensive, and there's always the thought of if we don't spend the money, we'll have the money, but if we don't spend the money, I'm not sure we going to continue to make the money.

So a leader has to give in to that pressure and that tension and say even though it's scary, even though it's uncomfortable, we have to create systems and we have to change systems and adjust, which often in cases and oftentimes means hiring more people. The most expensive part of most organizations is hiring people, and yet in order to keep up with growth, there has to be that decision. So it's always scary. There's always something and the person at the top that's asking, "Do we really need that person?"

I'll never forget years ago, when we started first started, I came into our board and our staff had requested 15 new hires. I sit down with the board, and we only had 15 employees. So this was like doubling. This was going to be so expensive. A gentleman on our board, he said, "Andy," and this is the tension of leadership. He said, "Andy, do you really need 15 more people?" And I said, "No." I said, "But we need this position and we need this position and we need this position." As I looked at each one individually, it was a yes. As I thought about 15 people, it was a no.

So that's part of the tension of leadership, especially when it comes to ramping up personnel. But oftentimes that's just the price you pay because it's an investment in the future, and as we say in our organization, it's acting like then is now. It's acting like then is now. Then is where we want to be. We've got to act like we're already there, staff up and prepare for where we're going and where we hopefully, ultimately end up being.

Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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