Executive Dismissals for Resistance to Change
July 21, 2015Executive Psychotherapy
Few executives can have avoided hearing: “Only change never changes.” Yet every day, all over the world, there are executive dismissals for resistance to change
When you think about it, resisting change seems to be very strange behaviour. We read this on a computer screen, that proudly displays a change. Executives all over the world were fired for resisting the introduction of computers. We drive around in amazing luxury cars, symbols of change, (even a basic car is luxury compared to horse and cart), yet executives all over the world were fired for resisting every single one of the changes that went in to a modern car.
That phrase: “Resisting change seems to be very strange behaviour” contain hints of a multitude of entirely normal human behaviours. There isn’t a person alive who has not faced change. There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t resisted change despite near universal awareness of the principle if not the specific words: “Only change never changes.”
Here is the good news. If your performance has taken a dip, and you think that is because you are being forced to make unnecessary or even unreasonable changes, you are in the sane majority. Why? Most attempts to change fail. You already knew that from your own experience: of all the change programmes you have observed in your executive or professional life, what percentage of them have been successful? The number is tiny. How tiny? One in four hundred innovations succeed, and every innovation is a change. That means, purely on a statistical basis, if you are resisting change, the chances are that you are right: it will, in all probability, fail.
However, probabilities do not fire people, those whose desired changes are being blocked do.
The challenge then is: how do you cope with the change that is being imposed on you, against your will, which will, probably fail?
That is a problem that executives all over the world have to deal with. Get it right and your career is safe. Get it wrong and you are a “change-blocker”, or rather a “fired-change-blocker”; “one of the saboteurs who had to be removed”; one of those “who just didn’t get it”. You’ve heard those phrases being applied to others, others who are no longer with the company, others who are now finding it hard to work.
How do you resist irrational, company damaging change without putting your career at risk and without having your performance dip during the transition period and beyond?
How do you avoid executive dismissal in the face of your entirely rational resistance to change?
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