Reasons why so many changes fail #11 A Belief That You Can Force Them to Do It

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Reasons why so many changes fail

#11 A Belief That You Can Force Them to Do It

No, you can’t. People can find all types of creative ways to stop you in your tracks. For instance, the president of a small company once told me that his idea was dying due to “malicious compliance.” People did just enough to stay out of trouble and keep him off their backs, but not enough to make the change a success.

There are a few exceptions to this. Some organizations bribe people with incredible bonus and retirement packages, and so people will do anything to reach the pot at the end of that rainbow. But even that approach can have its problems. When these soldiers of fortune set priorities for their own work, your pet idea may not make it to the top of the list because it fails the “what’s in it for me?” test.

Another problem is that the bribes usually don’t reach down far enough into the organization, so the middle manager, professional staff, supervisors, and hourly workers don’t have all that much interest in making the executives richer. What a surprise.

(This is adapted from my new and greatly revised book, Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of Changes Still Fail – and What To Do About It. You can order the book by clicking here.)

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