Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
—Sydney J. Harris
Allan was at his wits’ end. The transformation team he was leading was in chaos. Their work was stalled, and the carefully crafted timeline for completing their project was in danger of being obliterated by discord, disagreement, and, in a few cases, near-mutiny.
His frustration leapt from the screen as I read his e-mail requesting a call. During the conversation, Allan talked about how well everyone worked together as they created the change management charter, identified stakeholders, created their plans, and began their work. The plan was a good one. A few of the team members were simply allowing their personal discomfort with the change to get in the way of the work to be done.
The team was in chaos. Allan—yes, that one—was driving them crazy. He refused to deviate from the change management plan. When a team member disagreed with the next action to be taken, he threw the timeline and project scope back on the screen and reminded everyone of the upcoming deadline. When someone raised a concern or allowed any doubt to drift into his or her work, he ignored it.
From the team’s perspective, Allan was held captive by the project plan and wouldn’t ...