“Push-Back” – The opportunity killer By Roger La Salle
The CEO has little Power
The CEO of a large company once said to me, believe it or not,
“I am in the position of least power to change this organisation. If people will not change I am unable to make them, the organisation is simply too large for me to do their jobs in a different way. I must rely on my people.”
Anybody in a medium to large sized organisation will have encountered Push-Back”. This occurs when an individual or a group expresses doubt or even rejects outright the notion of a new approach. This is “Push-Back” and unfortunately it’s all too common.
Should we discourage “Push-back”?
Push back has its place should be used as a catalyst for creating open, full and frank discussion. The last thing one wants is for all to agree with no dissenting views and thus no discussion or exploration of alternatives. Surrounding yourself with “Yes-men” is the ploy of weak and insecure managers who are afraid to be challenged.
As General George Patton said: “If everyone is thinking the same, then nobody is thinking at all.”
What’s the solution?
Without doubt the most effective way to bring about change and acceptance of a better way is to have the negative thinkers involved in the development of the new initiative. Run a session or meeting and lead the naysayers to the “font of discovery” and have them inspire the new thinking. People generally love their own ideas.
An alternative approach is to ask somebody for their advice. People love to give advice, this makes them feel in control, feel well respected and perhaps admired.
Ask somebody for their advice and you will immediately have them on side.
The realisation that the boss, especially in larger organisations, really has little power to make change may come as a surprise to most, but is a fact.
To inspire change and get “buy in” you need to embrace those that will drive the change in developing the change initiative. Get them involved in developing the new thinking. This is the secret to mitigating “Push-Back”.
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