I’m either listening to Afrobeats or Joel Osteen’s podcasts when I’m working out in the gym, cycling or jogging.

Sometime last month, I listened to an Osteen’s podcast on change, what it really means, how it happens and where it really happens-and the message has been running through my mind ever since.

Typically, the Preacherman starts off with “something funny”, but he wasn’t joking when he gave the analogy of a hog, otherwise referred to as domesticated pig.

Listen to him: If you take a hog to a spa, give it a good sauna bathe, a full body massage, pedicure and manicure, skin brushing and oiling, the moment you get home, the hog will do only one thing. It will not think of going to the poolside to “chillax” or go somewhere quiet to savor the spa treatment. Straight right back into the mud it will go!

Osteen says that’s how it is with change. If you work on the outside without also working on the inside, your effort will be in futility. The hog had no clue what the owner was doing, in a manner of speaking. Or rather, the hog didn’t appreciate what the owner did.

So, before you pursue a change agenda, you have to sell it to the beneficiaries and carry them along lest you force them out of their long-suffering mode (comfort zone) and unwittingly cause more harm than good. You have to break down the change, the reasons, the consequences, the gains and possibly the pains.

Haven’t you heard about people who would rather you didn’t promote them to a higher position just because it would entail a relocation? More than anything else, the consequences of change must be broken down into minor easy to swallow to swallow and digestible nuggets!

Real change happens within. If the heart and mind are not connected, the hands and legs will not comply. Change begins and ends (or never ends) within!

Never force change unless and except it is absolutely necessary-like removing the fuel subsidy in Nigeria after decades of dilly dallying with all the unpleasant consequences.

*Emeka Oparah is a Public Relations Expert and former Vice President, Corporate Communications, Airtel Nigeria


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