by Dan Kennedy, Kumveka Executive Director. He's helped dozens of ministries around the world navigate big change.
Change cometh. It represents big dreams and real fears. If you are considering a rebrand at any level—from a gentle refresh (updated messaging and visuals) to a complete rebrand (new strategy, new name, new messaging, new visuals), you will need a proven framework. This is especially true if your goal is not just to survive the rebrand but to actually grow and accelerate the work of your organization.
Here are three concepts that will help.
Big change requires Vision & Fortitude
Let's start with the first two concepts together: Vision & Fortitude.
- #1: Vision is painting a clear and compelling picture of desired future state. This means understanding your current barriers today and what the upside is for your organization. It often sounds like: "What if...
- ...our brand actually reflected the level of work our teams do?"
- ...our name didn't start us in a hole at the beginning of every conversation?"
- ...we were consistent in what we say? Or how we represent ourselves visually?
- #2: Fortitude is the personal and organizational grit to get there.
When you begin to engage your stakeholders, you must start with your Vision. It should be exhilarating. It should be so closely linked to a commonly held and bought-into Mission Statement that it's nearly impossible for anyone to say: "No, I don't want that." And some people still won't like it. That's where Fortitude comes in.
You have to know resistance is coming. And not because people disagree with the big picture, but often because they don't yet understand why the change is worth it and what it will cost them. You, as leader, have to press forward. You are stewarding more than one person's attachment to a logo, a color scheme, or even a name.
Vision & Fortitude in action
True story: Several years ago, Kumveka helped an organization walk through a name change. The executive director and I set up a meeting with the founder's wife, a woman who not only helped come up with the ministry's name decades earlier, but was also still on staff as a field missionary. Oi. We had our Vision & Fortitude ready for a shellacking. But she hardly let us finish. Essentially she said: "What's that? The name is getting in the way? Can it. Find something better and let's tell more people about Jesus." Sometimes it happens that way. And when it doesn't...
Have a ministry mindset
...Don't be a jerk. This is where #3: Empathy comes in. People process change at different rates and in different ways. We must see owning and rolling out change as an opportunity to minister to everyone it touches. And since we know this upfront we can plan for it. Your launch marketing plan starts when you decide to pursue change, not when the final decision is made.
Is this clear? Is this helpful? What kind of change is ahead for you?