my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (7/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (7/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 3: choose the path of least resistance

  • Resistance to change is a staple of change management, so rather than confronting your detractors, it’s best to ignore them and circumvent the issue by working exclusively with the positive change agents that you can find. Therefore, there will be more than one person to advocate the change, and eventually, your detractors will follow in your footsteps when they realise you have succeeded and they can’t do otherwise,
  • If fights arise, I have found time and time again that refusing to confront people was the best way of getting rid of such issues. When the fight gets nasty and personal I go off on a tangent and do something else until the person tires and usually, they do. The most aggressive ones usually make so many enemies for themselves that they either fall victim to their own aggressiveness or, eventually, they go somewhere else and make other people suffer, in search for other fights,
  • It’s best to concentrate on one’s work, one’s results, to be a professional, not to confront people and move ahead,
  • I must also emphasise that one must remain courteous and friendly, even with one’s worst enemies. Always shake hands, never attack them, remain positive: “(Matthew 5:39) But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” 

Anecdote: when I worked for a large British Bank in the mid-1990s on the Internet strategy for the Bank and was interviewing people, I met some people who were initiating their own project. I proposed that they become part of the team and that we promote their project and use their idea as a driving force for our strategic change. They instead became aggressive and secretive, refused to share their ideas and findings, refused to share their project, and eventually died with it. The Internet project – ours I mean – went on without them, they didn’t benefit from their advance, didn’t make any friends and didn’t help their company either. We didn’t have to confront them, they just shot themselves in the foot.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

Follow me

Yann Gourvennec

CEO & Founder at Visionary Marketing
Yann has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He was a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing.
Yann Gourvennec
Follow me

7 thoughts on “my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (7/10)

  1. Thanks for including your speech in this blog. I look forward to reading other installments.

    However, I do disagree with some of your points regarding resistance. You write, “Resistance to change is a staple of change management, so rather than confronting your detractors, it’s best to ignore them and circumvent the issue by working exclusively with the positive change agents that you can find.”

    I certainly agree that confronting is usually a very bad strategy in that it invites active resistance and creates enemies. And I agree that we would do well to identify those people who are likely to support us.

    But, I don’t think we should ignore those who resist. (In organizations, leaders can’t afford to ignore the people who resist them.) In the mid-1990s I developed an approach to working with resistance that has been the foundation for my writing and consulting practice ever since. People resist for three reasons:
    They don’t get it.
    They don’t like it.
    They don’t like you.
    So, they may not understand, they may be afraid or they may not have trust and confidence in you. Or, it could be a combination of all three.

    I find that my clients do best when they determine the reasons why people are resisting them. Often they find that turning resistance into support is relatively simple, and it is a lot easier than trying to work with apathy, anger, etc.

    1. Hi Rick, thanks for this long and substantiated comment. I agree with you in fact. Maybe my explanations were too terse and the statements too sweeping. I agree that understanding detractors is something one must do. If only to improve your own ability to address critique and overcome it and also to respect people. If you read the other tips and namely tip no. 6 (always respect people), I am not saying other things. Maybe the limit of this kind of articles is that one may think that each tip can be read and used in isolation whereas it can’t. It’s not – as my old mentor at Unisys used to say – a matter of black or white, but black AND white.

      1. I would do well to read the entire piece before commenting. Sorry about that. . .I like the black AND white phrase. Sounds like you had a good mentor.

  2. Thanks for including your speech in this blog. I look forward to reading other installments.

    However, I do disagree with some of your points regarding resistance. You write, “Resistance to change is a staple of change management, so rather than confronting your detractors, it’s best to ignore them and circumvent the issue by working exclusively with the positive change agents that you can find.”

    I certainly agree that confronting is usually a very bad strategy in that it invites active resistance and creates enemies. And I agree that we would do well to identify those people who are likely to support us.

    But, I don’t think we should ignore those who resist. (In organizations, leaders can’t afford to ignore the people who resist them.) In the mid-1990s I developed an approach to working with resistance that has been the foundation for my writing and consulting practice ever since. People resist for three reasons:
    They don’t get it.
    They don’t like it.
    They don’t like you.
    So, they may not understand, they may be afraid or they may not have trust and confidence in you. Or, it could be a combination of all three.

    I find that my clients do best when they determine the reasons why people are resisting them. Often they find that turning resistance into support is relatively simple, and it is a lot easier than trying to work with apathy, anger, etc.

    1. Hi Rick, thanks for this long and substantiated comment. I agree with you in fact. Maybe my explanations were too terse and the statements too sweeping. I agree that understanding detractors is something one must do. If only to improve your own ability to address critique and overcome it and also to respect people. If you read the other tips and namely tip no. 6 (always respect people), I am not saying other things. Maybe the limit of this kind of articles is that one may think that each tip can be read and used in isolation whereas it can’t. It’s not – as my old mentor at Unisys used to say – a matter of black or white, but black AND white.

      1. I would do well to read the entire piece before commenting. Sorry about that. . .I like the black AND white phrase. Sounds like you had a good mentor.

        1. Thanks again for the comment Rick, this is very kind. I will try and post this blog post on my website, blogs aren’t definitely suited for reading long pieces and I love long pieces.
          You are right, my mentor was a good one!

Comments are closed.