BONUS: Epic Change Failure Cause Number 11


11. Drop the Bomb and Wait for the Sheep


BTW — didn’t this guy get the memo that there’s something HAZARDOUS here? Talk about a bad lie — and an epic failure just waiting to happen. (photo credit: unknown)Epic Failure 2

I’ve recently posted my “hall of shame” related to The Top 10 Ways to Ensure Epic Change Failure. And — I must admit, the post has been a big hit!

In the spirit of keeping content fresh and up-to-date, I’m posting a “bonus number 11” cause of epic change failure.


As a refresher, here are The Top 10 Ways to Ensure Epic Change Failure once again:

1. I Know, Let’s Reorg, Again!
2. Test Reactions to the Change by Leaking Parts of It In Advance
3. Pour On the Fertilizer!
4. Because I Said So
5. Creative? Not Us… We Just “Gotta” Do It
6. Allow Process to be a Surrogate for Leadership
7. Rationalize Sweeping Changes Using Only One Dimension
8. I’m Sorry, YOU Just Don’t Understand
9. Grief is a Sign of Weakness
10. Hide Behind Non-Human-to-Human “Communication”


BONUS: Epic Change Failure Cause #11


Unfortunately, “cause #11” came to light as a result of an organizational change announced by an organization that I have been part of for more than 20 years. They recently announced a sweeping organizational shift and employed Epic Change Failures #1, #4, #7, #8, probably #9 and definitely #10. Oh — and #11 was front and center. So — what do you think? How well is the change happening? Yep — that’s right… Epic. Failure. Read on…

11. Drop the Bomb and Wait for the Sheep

What causes this? Dropping the bomb and “waiting out” any resistance is one of the most arrogant approaches to change out there. The essence of it is this: when you need to announce an unpopular change, just “RIP OFF THE BAND-AID” and drop the bomb. Then wait. Wait for the passive sheep response to take over from the masses — where no one really wants to take on those that developed and announced the change. Yeah, there will be some whining, but eventually sheep will appear, and presto-changeo, it’s the “new normal!” BAAAAD idea.

What can I do to mitigate it? First — you have to “not” see the people in the organization as sheep. If you’re not able to do that, then stop reading now. I can’t help you. People ARE NOT SHEEP! We have opinions, we grieve (see #9 above), we want to be included — and more than anything, we want to be respected. Don’t just drop the bomb — be inclusive, be transparent, be respectful, and be aware that bomb-dropping sucks.


Get Good at Organizational Change (600 x 125 Banner Ad 2013, © 2013, Robert S. Tipton


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