I just finished my thesis in fulfillment of my Master of Arts in Communication this week. It’s been a six-year journey which I’m obviously glad to finally finish. Anyone who is an adult student or student with a family understands the hard work and sacrifices both you and your family make in order to accomplish this big, hairy, audacious goal.
The title of my thesis is “Organizational Change in One Evangelical Denomination: A 24-Month Case Study”. It’s the story of how communication strategy, culture, organizational structure, and business systems for a worldwide denomination changed. It’s the story of my life at work in the past 24-months.
My program at Spring Arbor University requires a defense of the thesis. It is more than a typical M.A. program, but less than a Ph.D. program. My defense was last week. It went well enough that the faculty representatives I presented to think the thesis could actually be turned into a book. Fancy that. They also think what I learned could be condensed into something worth speaking about.
What I’m going to be working on in the next few months is a potential pathway to publishing the book. I’m more interested in the Seth Godin or Tony Morgan method of self-publishing. What it will look like here are more regular posts as excerpts from my thesis on the topics of communication strategy, organizational change, and leadership. I’ll share my notes with you and invite feedback. If it seems like the content will be helpful for organizations or even other denominations, we’ll package it up and publish it for the masses. It’s a surreal idea to me for sure.
One final thought is a quote that is key for the success we’ve had up to this point is from Jim Collins:
We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats—and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
If you choose to read on in the next few weeks and months, you’ll see just how important that idea was in order to succeed. As for today, I’m taking a few hundred deep breaths, reading for recreation, and rewarding myself with a new pair of shoes. Don’t judge.