Organisational Change Management Volume 2

28. How to Change Entrenched Views

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Need to be able to always challenge accepted views

" can - and must - go through an exercise of deep and pervasive mental surgery with respect to every entrenched view: define it, understand the reasons for its provenance, point out its weaknesses, and then develop multiple ways of undermining that view and bolstering a more constructive one......Consider three such entrenched views - each familiar to anyone who has worked in any organisation - and the ways in which the views might be reformulated:

early representation: bigger is always better

better representation: it all depends. Sometimes small is beautiful. Assets of scale are often at odds with flexibility, comfort, innovation. The behemoths of one era may well be the dinosaurs of the next.

early representation: if you don't like your situation, scream, quit, or both

better representation: all niches have pros and cons. If you act shrewdly, you may be able to improve your situation, not only benefiting yourself but also improving the atmosphere of others. It is also important to listen to what others are saying because you might not grasp the whole picture.

early representation: I've done it this way so long that I know it is right.

better representation: there is merit in tried-and-true practices, because sometimes - and particularly at a time of rapid change - such practices can become dysfunctional. Items of inferior quality that are less expensive are sometimes the lowest quality products.

Keep an open mind, be willing to experiment, blend the best of the old and the new..."

Howard Gardner, 2006

Remember: generally there are good reasons why entrenched views persist and are hard to change. On the other hand, there are times when entrenched views are counterproductive.

(source: Howard Gardner, 2006)


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