Change is hard...but not as hard as extinction.

Remember that almost every change means that someone was not doing their job well. Your new idea will not be popular with everyone.

What you resist, persists.
If you try to change someone, they will cling to the old thing even harder.

Fair Warning

I have been fired more than once. Not for failing to do a good job, mind you. In fact, I have never left a job without getting compliments from the person firing me. Odd, right?

You will find that change makes everyone uncomfortable. Some people will actively resist change; these you can deal with. But, when the changes you are advocating make someone feel threatened, look out! You may think you are winning the battle for change only to find out that the old guard has used fear, uncertainty and doubt to undermine you. Even if they are paying lipservice to your ideas.

So, just be aware of the following:
  • I am not an expert at any of this. I am still learning.
  • Use of this information can have unintended consequences.
  • Much of this is evolving, at least in a nuanced way, constantly.
  • The most effective way to learn is by making mistakes, but it is not the best way.

Proceed with Caution

What should you do if you see something that needs to be changed? (If you are smart, you will see these things everywhere.) No one wants to be with the guy who walks around complaining that things are broken, even if they are. So what do you do? You pick your battles. Decide what is worth fighting for.

Approach change with caution. Time your effort. Test the waters with a few colleagues to see who can understand the value of your idea. Get input to refine your thinking. Build consensus. See who is willing to support your idea privately. See who is willing to support your idea publicly.

Don't assume that everyone will reach the same conclusion, even with the same data. Often there are unrelated obstacles to accepting change. Remember that almost every change means that someone was not doing their job as well as they could have. Change becomes a threat to someone when it seems personal. You don't have to win every issue.

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