Wisdom for Well-Being
Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century

Plenary 1 - Navigating Change in Systems

Welcome to the resource page for AM21’s opening plenary. If you have questions or need additional information, the presenters look forward to talking with you.

Rev. Don Remick, Transitional Interim Conference Minister for the Massachusetts Conference, UCC


(508) 875-5233, ext.225

Rev. Dr. Bill Lyons, Conference Minister, Southwest Conference UCC

Email Bill Lyons


Links are in bold


Below the Green Line

The work we do lives above the green line. Why we do it and how we go about that work lives below the green line. The key is to balance our engagement in the rational outcomes of our work with attentiveness to the experiential impact of how we go about those tasks.

This concept is based on the 6 circles model of Margaret Wheatley and has been expanded by Dick Knowles, Tim Dalmau, Steve Zuieback, and others.  

This is only one model of understanding the dynamics of organizations. Finding the frame or model that works best to help group members look objective at their own organization’s dynamics is a key task for navigating change in systems.

Know Your Why

When you know your ‘why’ you have options for your what.

Your ‘why’ lives below the green line. Your ‘whats’ lives above the green line.

PowerPoint Slides Don Remick - Part 1

Comedian Michael Jr. explains the power of knowing your why in an amazingly graceful way.


The Opportunity Tree

What drives change in your system? Fixing problems? Achieving goals? Is the ‘why’ of your church oriented to solving a problem or to creating something positive in the word?

We can never grow less of what we do not want; we can only grow more of what we do want. Where we spend our time tells us what we are growing. What might happen if we spent more time talking about what we wanted to accomplish and less time talking about the problems that need solving?

Opportunity Tree Exercise

Theory U.jpg

Theory U

No problem can be solved out of the same level of consciousness that created it. Churches that survive and thrive will discern with God how they are to uniquely be healthy, faithful, and effective in the changing landscape of ministry. Churches that thrive have more and focus more on imagination than memories. Transformational visioning rather than strategic planning is key.

Churches Alive: a transformational visioning program

Churches Alive Discernment

Assessing Conflict Draft 7

How Great Leaders Inspire Action - Simon Sinek (20 min)

PowerPoint Slides - Don Remick Part 2

Prof. Robert Kegan sets up the environment for an inquiry on how come there is a gap between a person's real intention to change and what the person actually does.

Transitions (William Bridges) & the Immunity to Change

80% of change efforts fail. For any given change, 10%-15% of organization members are never able to embrace it. The emotional, psychological, relational, physical, and spiritual adjustments required to accept change are called a transition and require time and support. Unless the commitments one holds to the status quo are overcome, no lasting change will occur. Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan offer an effective strategy for identifying and overcoming that Immunity to Change.

Tools for Transition: Adaptive Challenges v. Technical Fixes

Change v. Transition: A Process Guide

Core Principles for Appreciative Inquiry

Overcoming Competing Commitments

Wilderness Experience Checklist