thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Monday, September 1

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS? (sorry - it's a mini-book...)

Have you ever heard someone say, “No news is usually good news”? I hear this frequently and have usually adapted to its theory. Until now…

I want to take a moment and address the “usually” part of this phrase. I would agree, for the most part, that “no news” is good news. But I think sometimes we shoot ourselves in the big toe when we ASSUME that just because someone is silent that they are supportive of a particular initiative – especially in a major organizational transition/change process.

In our change/transition as a church, we have seen all sorts of different people fly out of the woodwork. You can usually categorize them in one of the following categories:

1. The “against the change” group. These are those who are very clearly against the particular change of an organization. Their unhappiness with the change initiative is usually expressed the loudest out of all of the groups. They will either let everyone know how much they don’t like what is happening or they will just leave. (Note: some of these people can be salvaged – but not many. And in some cases, they are better left to move on…)

2. The “for the change” group. These are those who believe in the vision, support the leadership and are constantly finding ways to get “plugged in” to what’s going on. Unfortunately, this group doesn’t get listened to enough. (Group #1 is always the loudest for some odd reason…) Thank God for this group! They are the fuel…

3. The “no news” group. This is the group who everyone is sort of unsure of. We "hope" that they are excited and a part of the future, and we usually adapt the “no news is good news” theory to these individuals. And because of this assumption, we either back off of the vision casting with them because we think they are “on board” or we sort of think to ourselves, “Let’s not push it with them – let them be!”

Here’s the problem with that kind of thinking - I think that this group is often times silent not because they are bad people or "against" what is happening - but rather, because they are trying to process what’s happening and whether or not and how they fit into it. Because of that, I think we have to cast vision in even a greater way with this group.

This is a core group that can help an organization move forward, and we should never assume (break that word apart…) that because they are “quiet” that they are 100% “on board”.

One more thought – casting vision to people is not easy – it takes CONSTANT work. Casting vision one on one with people seems to be the most effective way to do it (not always manageable, however...). People are less likely to open up and be honest in a group – but if you can get them one on one and ask questions and let them talk, you will probably be able to cast some serious vision and find out how they fit into that picture.

Let me hear your thoughts/comments…