Out of Organizational Gas
Even in the midst of positive change, it’s possible to run low on gas. In the community I’m trying to bring to the digital world, cloud-based tools are catching on with a small group of people. They’re excited about what can be done with Google Calendar, Google Forms, Google Drive. More people are asking to learn about Zoom. There have even been some volunteers willing to use Zoom to to help people record retirement well-wishes for the pastor. Me? I’m in the corner, wishing a roadside assistance crew would show up with a gas can.
This must be what a change agent goes through in a school, perhaps a single person in a high school department, a district ed-tech professional, maybe even a principal or other district leader.
In classes I’ve taught or small groups I’ve worked with, all it took was creating activities and introducing some tools to spark excitement. People then set out to learn on their own and share what they created. I stood back and steered people in the directions they decided to go. But this situation is different. Rather than participating for their individual purposes, members of my tech team are learning for a shared purpose, to further the organization’s goals and dreams. That changes everything.
In a recent meeting, I laid out a list a tasks. No one stepped forward.
The person with the most comfort and experience hedged. He wanted to know exactly what each task involved; at the end of our exchange, he wondered if it weren’t enough to be part of the group responsible for live-streaming and recording the weekly worship session.
Of course it is.
The person most involved in committees church-wide said she would take on a task, but she would have to learn more first. I realized I would have to be the one to teach her; I wondered, if she is already working on learning to use Google Forms to teach to another committee, shouldn’t that be enough?
Of course it should.
If it would take more time to teach her than it would to do the task myself, shouldn’t I just do it? Probably.
The person who is excited about creating a Google how-to
site for chairs of church committees is already working on projects in a different community organization. She can’t possible do more. Of course she can’t, nor should she.
So, after the last meeting, I stalled. My list of tasks has continued to grow and I’m just…stalled. Maybe it’s a Covid thing, but I doubt it.
More likely, I need to learn– and fast– how to develop a plan to meet multiple layers of new needs within the organization that arise simultaneously.
Of course I do. But can I?