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- People don’t hate change, they hate how you’re trying to change them
- Give people a clear sense of what they should be focusing on, and get rid of the rest.
- Bring people in from the start, rely on their practical experience and expertise and incorporate their ideas into the plan.
As a leader, you never know what your employees are faced with in their personal lives. Sometimes we see their resistance to change as personally directed against us – why wouldn’t you like our brilliant new idea? Here’s a 2 minute video to play at your next team meeting: Is your morning like this?
Decisions have been on my mind – and I keep thinking back to the great book Decisive. When you’ve got a key decision to make, Chip and Dan Heath recommend the following framework
- Widen your options
- Reality-test your assumptions
- Attain some distance before deciding
- Prepare to be wrong
What are YOU willing to adapt?
“To stay alive, Jack Pritchard had to change his life. Triple bypass surgery and medication could help, the heart surgeon told him, but no technical fix could release Pritchard from his own responsibility for changing the habits of a lifetime. He had to stop smoking, improve his diet, get some exercise, and take time to relax, remembering to breathe more deeply each day. Pritchard’s doctor could provide sustaining technical expertise and take supportive action, but only Pritchard could adapt his ingrained habits to improve his long-term health. The doctor faced the leadership task of mobilizing the patient to make critical behavioral changes; Jack Pritchard faced the adaptive work of figuring out which specific changes to make and how to incorporate them into his daily life.
Companies today face challenges similar to the ones that confronted Pritchard and his doctor. They face adaptive challenges. Changes in societies, markets, customers, competition, and technology around the globe are forcing organizations to clarify their values, develop new strategies, and learn new ways of operating. Often the toughest task for leaders in effecting change is mobilizing people throughout the organization to do adaptive work.”
From The Work of Leadership by Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie
Latest Brilliant HBR Blog
“Control is an illusion and always has been an illusion. It is a Hobbesian paradox that we cannot enforce change unless change has already occurred. Higher status—or even a persuasive presentation full of facts—is of limited utility. The lunatics run the asylum, the best we can do as leaders is empower them to run it right.
And that’s why change always requires leadership rather than authority. Respectable people always prefer incumbency to disruption. Only misfits are threatened by the status quo. So if you want to create real change, it is not power and influence that you need, but those who seek to overthrow them.”