Change Can Be a Challenge
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” So said the famed poet Robert Burns after ploughing his fields and accidentally destroying a mouse’s nest, which it needed to survive the winter. And that line is still used to mean that no matter how carefully a project is planned, things can still go wrong with it. Implementing new ways of doing business in any organization—such as a new child sexual abuse prevention framework—can present a range of unique challenges and potential stumbling blocks. Even strengthening an existing framework requires significant time and effort to plan and execute. But these are challenges that can be anticipated and thus addressed.
At some point—often after months of work—the policies and procedures, codes of conduct, screening and hiring protocols, reporting requirements, and training programs will be ready for presentation to your staff and volunteers. But sometimes, your presentation may not be met with the expected enthusiasm because new programs require a change in the way things are done—and, in this case, the ways people behave as well.
The fact is that organizations (like many people) don’t particularly like change. Fundamental change takes time, is uncomfortable, and often requires a lot of energy for what seem to be small, forward steps. When confronted with change—either personally or professionally— many of us tend to focus on how to defend against it instead of how to use and succeed with it. That’s why it’s inevitable that not all elements of your organization will move at the same pace of change. Some will grasp the new way of doing business immediately, some will implement at a slower pace while trying to gauge effects as the change evolves, and some will avoid or resist change—even if it’s mandated—for long periods of time.
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