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The Primes: How any Group can Solve any Problem by CHRIS McGOFF

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Chapter 11

Overcoming Resistance

Are you okay with favoring some people and ignoring others?

While most people resist change, the patterns of this resistance are fairly predictable. By understanding these patterns, you can channel a significant portion of the energy spent resisting the change into energy that instead drives it. And you can learn alternately to recognize and ignore sources of insignificant resistance.

High-performing groups have learned to distinguish which people resisting the change matter and which ones do not. They spend the maximum amount of time working with the first group and virtually ignore the latter group. This skill is teachable.

Michael Doyle had a unique way of seeing resistance to change; he considered it evidence that the change effort was beginning to threaten the status quo. He worried that absence of resistance meant that we weren't doing anything significant. We once received a call from a client who wanted to discuss some strongly worded messages she had received from some of her middle managers regarding the transformation effort. Michael responded by shouting, “Finally, people are beginning to take what we are doing seriously!”

In that spirit, you must embrace resistance while not allowing it to defeat you. The following three PRIMES will show you how.

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