in pioneer practice one of the themes i explore is change. for those who see new possibilities and make new paths to make what they see happen (i call them pioneers) they almost invariably find themselves navigating change in a wider system or organisation. this is as true of pioneers in the church as it is elsewhere. in research i did with pioneers which is in the book the top answer given as to what is most likely to derail pioneering was the powers that be. and yet in my experience very little training is given on systems and culture change and how to navigate those powers. we do some in leadership at cms but i think we could do more. there is actually quite a bit written in this area around organisations which are somewhat different and there are definitely insights to be gleaned though not everything translates - this piece in anvil is excellent by way of example. i have been reading quite a lot in this area recently as it seems to me that not just pioneers but a lot of leadership now at least in the church space requires this ability to navigate change, adaptability, resourcefulness, flexibility, imagination, awareness of systems and culture change and so on. and yet leaders are largely trained to lead worship, teach, do pastoral care and so forth.
all that is to say i was delighted to read a blog post by tina hodgett on enabling culture change in a diocese in the church of england towards a pioneering culture. her blog has a series of 16 suggestions and the gold is further developed in the attached paper which you can download at the bottom of the article. whether dioceses have the appetite for this i am less sure but i hope some might! anyway it's definitely worth a read and trying to provoke a conversation about if you are involved in a diocese. tina worked in diocesan structures in bath and wells diocese so it comes from her own experience and learned wisdom.