And I thought I did a shoddy job…
A week back, I was asked to make a presentation on Change management for an ERP initiative in our organization. Being an idealist that I am I did the groundwork to let the audience understand the basis of change, need for change and normal reaction to change which is that of resistance/ fear/ mistrust and the like. Therefore the thrust of my presentation was to be that of an attitude change and the rest to follow.
After an hour of discussion with the two project managers, I was disappointed that they wanted to ignore the fundamental aspect of change and feared making a mention of the word “resistance to change” and thought it was better to present it in more digestible words…the point being do not talk of things in black and white or do not address the core, just be at the periphery and expect that the rest would happen on its own. When I quoted the Manager on his own examples wherein he wanted people to become pro- active than reactive and wanted them to take ownership of issues, he did not want to talk of “attitude” change as that would mean digressing from the main issue. Much surprised as I was, I then asked them what was expected of me during the presentation and they gladly mentioned some formats to be filled by people and some change management workshops which were to concentrate on technical changes not attitudinal aspects.
I made the presentation as they wanted me to and got lot of appreciation for doing half a job. Often I hear these words “we want your 100% inputs”, “you are here for your intellectual capabilities” and when one uses it to make things better, he is not allowed to because the people at the top are not sure of themselves or are so sure of what they want that no other changes can take place to the thoughts they have framed.
Knowing fully well in their hearts( the people at the top) that what the other person is saying is valid, they do not venture in to and realize the facts much later when it turns into a crisis situation.
One more possibility is that may be these people are not used to confrontations and seldom come across someone who does not easily say “ Yes” just because the other person is a Boss or in a position of authority.
We keep talking of “empowerment”, “participative decision making” and the likes wherein the participation is restricted to sharing the decision already made.
That day when according to me I did a shoddy job, I realized that even if you have the best to offer it can be materialized only when there is somebody who can digest it, accept it and then work on it or even let you work on it.
Another lesson that I learnt, one who is passionate about his work should also know how to best package it to suit the situation…it is indeed difficult to practice.