Saturday, April 12, 2008

Why Change is Challenging - Part 2: Pride of the Past

Arthur Proud and Colleagues
Originally uploaded by J0nny_t

The second reason change is challenging is the "Pride of the Past."

Someone new comes into your organization and is an "Agent of Change." (Sounds like he should be carrying a badge, doesn't it?) You know the guy: He's got more sheepskins than a whole heard of Barbados Blackbellies, still wet behind the ears, loaded for bear because he's smarter than everyone else.

"I've got a better way to make that widget," says he. "We're going to change how we do it and make it better." Never mind the fact that you've been making that widget just fine longer than the lad has been alive. Never mind the fact that he didn't ask for your input or try to explain the why and wherefore of the change. Nope. He's just hell-bent of leather to change everything.

Many (most?) people take a great deal of pride in what they have accomplished. Change becomes most challenging when they feel like no one is giving them credit for what they have already accomplished.

Take the time to consider the person whose world you will impact by changing things, and try to understand the change from their perspective. Then take action to ensure they have some voice in what you are planning.

The respect you show in that effort will not go unnoticed.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I am developing some sympathy (found after suicide in the dictionary) for the hourly folks who say "it's the flavor of the day". It's a plague in American coporations. Short term thinking, make a splash for a year, shake things up and move on, milk the business dry and exit stage left befor it falls apart. Nothing tops the $1.2 billion golden parachute even if the stock tanks. How do I get one of those