Signs of Defending the Status Quo

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Change

Once again Seth Godin stimulated my thinking for another post. His original post can be accessed here, The warning signs of defending the status quo.    While working recently on a significant change initiative, I was surprised by the number of signs I encountered that could be interpreted as defending the status quo.  A number of them are included in the list below, which is loosely adapted from Seth’s.

When confronted with a new idea or opportunity for change, do others (or you):

  • Focus on the one or two things that could go wrong instead of emphasizing the things that will likely go right? …the risk assessment
  • Highlight the discomfort or exclusion of a few instead of the benefits for the many?
  • Slow implementation and decision making down instead of speeding it up?
  • Emphasize past or existing policies and believe they can’t be changed?
  • Undermine the credibility, authority or experience of people behind or supporting the change?
  • Complain about those that do something different when it appears to be against policy, even when the “policy” doesn’t actually exist?
  • Focus on short-term costs instead of long-term benefits?
  • Focus on policies instead of principles?

Calling it out, or naming it, when you see it may help make it visible to others. The bigger question may be, “Why are these signs showing up in my work?”  Is it possible that I am also showing signs of defending the status quo — my own?  I’m not quite sure yet,  how about you?

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