The Pushback

03. 24. 2015    |    posted by: Ralph Beck

Pushback happens just when you think you are making progress. Ignoring it, blowing it off, or hoping momentum will carry things forward comes all too easily. Then, "wham!" like driving down the highway, hearing a noise, feeling the car resist, and then the, "wump, wump" of a flat.

Your anger at the flat, the knucklehead who left a board with nails on the road, and your anger at those who are pushing back in the workplace all come naturally. But anger does not fix the flat or change the minds of your colleagues.

Not paying attention or adjusting earlier was a choice you made. Conscious or not, ignoring the lack of support, alignment, or understanding is where a choice can knock your efforts to the side of the road. Paying close attention to the road or changing employees is often necessary, but it is also an acquired skill.

This is when managing change often fails, from small variations in process or requirements to strategic initiatives. We are so focused on driving to the end of the journey that we forget to monitor and watch for hazards. Not having united your people and purpose with the process will create a problem, sometimes not visible until it causes more problems. Before blaming others, look at yourself and your own efforts. Self-correcting, such as acknowledging that certain connections were assumed, or taking some time to reestablish the links between the goal and the overall purpose, can reduce organizational fear of change. Sometimes the monitoring is needed just so others see that it is a necessity.

Over the years, when we see people slow down, implement alignment, confirm it, and find ways to reinforce it, change initiatives work. Where people push too fast to action, problems often arise. Sometimes these problems are easily addressed while other times, they truly diminish, if not halt, the larger effort.

How well do those around you understand the people, processes, and purpose involved in your change efforts? Do they see the connection to their goals and beliefs?


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