Resistance is not to change

May 10, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

It is a myth that people always resist change. I've seen cases where people embraced change. An insight into the nature of resistance to change comes from Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers’ “A Simpler Way.”

"In practice, all systems do insist on exercising their own creativity. They never accept imposed solutions, pre-determined designs, or well-articulated plans that have been generated somewhere else. Too often, we interpret their refusal as resistance. We say that people innately resist change. But the resistance we experience from others is not to change itself. It is to the particular process of change that believes in imposition rather than creation. It is the resistance of a living system to being treated as a non-living thing. It is an assertion of the system’s right to create. It is life insisting on its primary responsibility to create itself."

Much of the ineffective Agile we see in the industry today is because people have not been given the tools to use within one-size fits all frameworks being promoted. This shows up as resistance but it's often just not knowing how to do key things. It then feels like an imposition. Statements like "Scrum is simple, just use it as is" belies the fact that more is needed. That more should come up front.

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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