Change is good...for you

Story About Hating Change

Bill McAneny writes in his blog (4th Feb, 2008)

You know how when we go into a store and we just love buying things, but when the salesperson comes over to speak to us we go rigid and walk out? That's because we love buying but we can't stand being sold to. This principle is the same with change, we love it if it's something we do but hate it when it is done to us.

I had the senior team from a client gathered to look at the future shape of their business. They weren't too pleased. Their collective view was that they were masters of change, they lived out change every day and they needed no-one to help them 'manage change'. I couldn't get them to even admit that they themselves might have to change, so I gave each of them an envelope with their name on it. They were really suspicious and opened them carefully and inside were their termination notices.

Well that livened the party up! They got really irate, and then a few of the more astute ones noticed that it was dated two years hence. So, I said to go away and look back on that session with the psychologist and tell me why you were made redundant, what didn't you do which you should have, what did you do which you should not have.

While they were out of the room, I re-arranged the tables, which were in a half circle, to be more 'cabaret' style, just because that's how I prefer it, no ulterior motive. Well, when the team came back they were totally disoriented. Of the 17 executives from one of the world's biggest companies, none knew where to sit, there was total confusion, and they all looked to me for the lead.

And the moral of this tale? We like change when it is something we do, but not when it is something which is done to us.

Read the full post here:

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