Re: Resistance to Change LO1197

John R. Snyder (
Sat, 13 May 1995 16:34:50 -0600

Replying to LO1177 (Melvin Dickover)--
>Another way of looking at "resistance to change" that is very useful to
>consultants is to translate the phrase into "I'm using an ineffective
>method". This moves the problem to you from the organization, and
>motivates you to do something different and better.

Hmmmm. This seems like an improvement over the all-too-common practice of
blaming the client, but is it the best possible approach? It could also
motivate the consultant to start beating him/herself up about something
that is beyond his/her unilateral control. It seems to me that whatever
is happening is *co-created* by the consultant and the organization and
that the responsibility is shared. Neither can take unilateral action to
solve the problem. "Moving the problem to [the consultant]" seems to
reinforce the illusion that the consultant is there to do something
heroic, set things straight, give enlightenment, use effective methods on
people, etc. This attitude may well be at the root of why the project is
going awry -- the heroic "expert" unilaterally decided what the
organization needed and the organization happily colluded by giving away
its responsibility for thinking. In that case, the consultant's simply
guessing again won't help.

John Snyder
Innovation On Demand                    "To a poet, a tree is a symbol
Round Rock, TX                           for a word ..."                                -Alfred North Whitehead