Sunday, September 5, 2010

Change Part Six

Okay, so some change is relatively easy. If for no other reason than, it can't be avoided. But, what about the tough stuff. The change that is hard. The change that is divisive. The change that is painful. The change that is resisted. What makes it so difficult? Why do we do it? Can it be easier?

I think the hardest change is the change that doesn't have an apparent reason. The change that doesn't have buy-in, because those most affected by the change don't see or understand the reason for the change. This is change that comes when a significant number of the people impacted by the change are not interested in changing. They are satisfied with the status quo, or at the least they prefer what they have now, to what they perceive the change will bring.

There are lots of books written about how to set up change. How to prepare influencers and leaders. How to get buy-in. How to create dissatisfaction with the present and a desire for something new. And if you work the system well enough, you can move a lot of people in the direction you want them to go. But, there will be a cost. That is why there are just as many books written on how to deal with the inevitable conflict that comes with the change, as there are books on initiating change.

So, "Why change?" Especially, if it is going to create conflict and send people sideways. And even more so, if the change doesn't appear to be crucial. Is change inevitable? Or, are there some things that don't have to change, or at least don't have to change as frequently? Or, do we have to live with the pain of change?

Maybe, the issue is not the change, but our human weakness. After all, change is about people, not things. Things don't care. Systems don't have feelings. Objects are inanimate. Are we managing the wrong side of the equation? Maybe the problem with change is not the change, but ourselves? And if so, how do we address it?

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