Are People Really Afraid to Change?

WRITTEN BY Mike Cottmeyer

Maybe.

Sometimes.

But here is my take.

I think most people are reasonable.

If there is a better way to do something, they’ll consider it.

Just because they resist, doesn’t mean they are afraid.

It might mean you haven’t made a compelling case.

It might mean that they have legitimate constraints that you haven’t taken into consideration.

It might mean that they don’t value the same things you value.

It might mean their priorities aren’t the same as your priorities.

It might mean you haven’t created enough safety.

Sometimes we show up with a shiny new hammer and want to think that everything is a nail.

We are past the early adopter phase.

We aren’t talking about small startups here.

We are talking about large organizations that have been building software for a long time.

There is technical debt.

There is legacy code.

There is a legacy organization.

We are talking about large scale organizational refactoring.

That can be scary.

How do we make it safe?

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1 comment on “Are People Really Afraid to Change?”

  1. David Rubin

    Mike,

    Thanks for this post. I see this often. Much of the resistance to change is the direct result of poor communication of the change. Everybody wants to do their work better. Everybody wants easier processes. In many cases, however, the creator of the processes isn’t the user of the process. Trust is absent. Communication is broken. Failure is imminent.

    I find that talking to people like the intelligent human beings they are gets me most of the way there. Having a good plan that’s been created by all stakeholders fills in the rest.

    -Dave

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