I'm reading through Reggie McNeal's Missional Renaissance and ran across this:
While most people understand that change must occur, it’s usually not the changes that do them in. It is the transition—the emotional processing of change. Its stages are predictable: first we deny we need to change, then we resist it, then we begin to explore it, and finally we commit to making it.
For many of you this is not a new insight but you no doubt feel the weight of working to make changes in your family, church, home, business, even yourself. Change is easy when we are the ones advocating for or benefiting from it. It's much more difficult when we find ourselves on the receiving end of the change process.
I spent some time reflecting and journaling about change using McNeal's observation about the change process above. Here's what I came up with:
Stages of embracing change:
1. Deny that change is necessary or needed.
Isolation and insulation from the real world
Lack of true reflection on the real condition of things
Choosing to live in ignorance regarding present realities
Rejection and refusal of change advocates and actions
2. Resist change.
Mentally: living with a locked paradigm or view
Emotionally: responding in anger or fear
Actions: actively campaigning against or fighting change
3. Begin to explore change.
Initial interaction with the real facts and realities
Desire to understand and un-layer the problems
Effort to see beyond the problem—reading, research
Reaching out for help from others (experts, consultants, navigators)
Development of a plan to change
4. Commitment to change.
Humility, release of control and submission to the change process
Embracing the change process and plan willingly
Resolve to pursue change even when difficult and unpopular
Development of a detailed plan to bring about change
Disciplined thought and action in executing the plan for change
Navigating each stage requires skill and wisdom as a leader. Certain steps in the change process will be more difficult or easy depending upon you and your organizations frame of mind, emotions, experience and skill.
Which stage is most difficult for you?
 McNeal, Reggie (2009-01-16). Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church (pp. 162-163). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition.