“We’ve all heard the saying (or myth): people resist change. Of course, the main task of many leaders is to bring about change – sometimes unpopular yet necessary adjustments. How can leaders push past a team’s cynicism – and their own self-doubt to bring about change?
I spoke with IMD (Institute for Management Development) professor George Kohlrieser about high performance leadership for my video series Leadership: A Master Class. He notes that the failure of many leaders is creating negative states in other people because of their own negative mindsets.
“This is a very destructive myth. People do not naturally resist change. They resist the pain of change. They resist the fear of the unknown. The brain is naturally going to seek, be curious, explore, and do new things. It’s how the brain thrives. But to do that, you have to feel safe. When you feel safe enough, then you go out and explore. You can’t change when you’re defensive. A leader has to be able to give that trust and sense of security. That’s when explosions of creativity can occur.”
Read the rest of the article here…
What do you think? My own pet peeve is change just for the sake of change and change that is imposed with no real purpose – like computer system formatting, which requires that you learn new locations of editing buttons, but provides no enhanced features. Behind that minor complaint (done venting now), I thought these points had relevance from a leadership perspective, for they emphasize the importance of communication and empowerment in pushing beyond temporary change to true organizational and individual transitions.
Do you have a story of personal or organizational change that supports – or rejects – this position?
When have you resisted change? Embraced it? How were the conditions in which you did so relevant?
Image courtesy mkalty.org