Wily Manager is a resource for managers at all levels of organizations. We also encourage aspiring new leaders to engage with us to. Every now and then I get some hate-mail that makes it clear that some non-managerial types hang out on the website too. I’m guessing they visit so they can make themselves more angry and bitter than they already are because they are boring, ugly, and have no friends.
The hate mail I get is when I speak truth to managers. Often times, these truths come at the expense of well-regarded intellectuals who have done lots of research about business, but have never really participated in one (other than the job they had as an intern during their undergraduate studies).
Here’s one of those truths:
“People will naturally resist change”
Of course, the gurus will tell you that people don’t resist change. They say people will get on board if you take the time to explain the benefits, why the change is being made, and what’s in it for them. That is exquisite BS.
The best is example is the metric system. The metric system is much easier and nearly universal in its use. Yet, the few hold-outs in the world cling to the old Imperial System like Linus to his blanket.
Here’s another uncomfortable truth:
“If you want to overcome resistance to change, you need to make the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of changing.”
The gurus would hate this truth. They would contend that you hold people’s hands, sit in a circle, and sing campfire songs, and people will change. They won’t.
Don’t coddle people through change – yes, you need to explain to them what is changing, why it’s changing, and what the benefits are. You need to tell them several times. But then you need to make the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of changing.
If you doubt me, here’s a third truth:
“Resistance is futile. Your own distinctiveness will be added to our own – prepare to be assimilated.”