Open to Change: Barriers to Perceived Need

Last week’s post discussed the two factors that contribute to any individual’s level of openness to change:

1.  Perceived need for change  AND
2.  Perceived feasibility of change
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In continuing that topic, there are specific barriers that prevent one from recognizing the need for change. ¬†Consider these…
(Wednesday will feature the barriers to perceived feasibility.)
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BARRIERS TO PERCEIVED NEED:
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Traditionalism
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An individual’s attachment to current methods, for their comfort and predictability, will reduce his/her ability to recognize the need for change.
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False success
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Often an individual judges his/her organization as successful when in fact it is not. ¬†This is generally due to the absence or poor development of clear metrics. ¬†When you measure the wrong things, people tend to develop the wrong opinion of your organization’s health.
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Historical success
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Some individuals justify the organization’s current methods with past examples of success, reasoning that, “If it worked before, it will work again!”
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Segment-focus
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Most likely, no matter the state of the organization, at least one segment of it is experiencing some level of success. ¬†When an individual focuses on the “small picture” rather than the “big picture”, the need for change will be difficult to recognize.
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Personal interest
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Some individuals will value their own interests over those of the organization.  When someone of that type is benefitted by current methods, he/she is unlikely to be concerned by organizational needs.
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These are just a few examples of barriers to perceived need.  What are some other barriers that you have experienced?
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[Side note:  I am in the process of developing a tool with which an organization can measure its overall level of openness to change.  If you are currently considering a moderate to large change initiative, this could be very helpful.  Please send me an email if you are interested in using it!]
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Ryan Stigile

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