How to overcome complacency and introduce real urgency (Steps 4 – 6)

4. Stay determined and ambitious Do NOT settle. It is easy to give up when the going gets a bit tough and then to lapse back into the status quo. The two main reasons why change initiatives fail are culture and habit; so get urgency, power and determination going from the beginning – big time and more!

Distinguish between Sceptics and NoNos and create a guiding team of like-minded people and earn some quick successes. Sceptics will need convincing through your facts and arguments and that can be done, but NoNos are more than just sceptics. They are always ready with ten reasons why the current situation is fine, why the problems/challenges others see don’t exist and why we need to consider this and that a bit more.

Left alone NoNos can kill or mortally wound your organisation and I have, sadly, experienced situations, particularly in voluntary organisations, where long-standing NoNos would rather see their club go down than change their mindset and behaviour.

Do NOT waste time trying to co-opt NoNos – but don’t ignore them. An ignored NoNo can create much mischief; you are after all, disturbing/ruining their disturbed view of the world.

There are three ways of dealing with NoNos: a) distract them with urgent jobs that take them away from the real issues b) expose their behaviour and let social pressure do its work and they leave c) force them out.
To be honest: I know it is very difficult, but my recommendation is option C.

While I am not suggesting that you immediately get rid of every NoNo, every time I come across a really successful Community Sports Enterprise, there’s not a single NoNo in sight.

Some ‘stuck-in-the-mud’ people see innovation and change as something that disturbs their finely tunes policies and procedures that have served them well for decades

(Interview on Radio York with local church warden: “You must have seen many changes during the 28 years you have been here?” “Yes, and I have been against all of them!”)

“The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day”

5. Learn from your failures and successes – then your hit rate improves. Be honest with yourself and your colleagues as to why new initiatives work and don’t work. Gradually you will increase your knowledge and understanding and become more successful – which is great. But you have to set some ships into the sea, that’s what ships are for – not to sit safe in the harbour.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

6. Enjoy the challenge – try to have fun while you are moving forward; otherwise you are too easily de-motivated and thrown off course, when the sea becomes a bit choppy. I know – easier said than done, but that’s where continuous progress, however small and slow, becomes so important.

“The only way a kid is going to practise is if it is total fun for him… and it was for me.”

So good luck with your own personal CRUCS – Campaign for Real Urgency in Community Sport – if you want to get in touch and learn more about how SMN can help move you and your organisation move forward in 2012, give us a call on 01423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com. Best wishes for 2012.

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