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6 February 2009

Fear and panic

After thinking about how project workers seem to be pretty engaged with their work and many operations people are more interested in maintaining the status quo I got to thinking about the way we approach change management.

A lot of the corporate change programmes I have seen (and been a part of) have involved educating the affected people about the ease of the change, the benefits to them and the organisation.

“By adopting this new business process/IT system/reporting framework you’ll be able to save money and get more done!”

And people just don’t care. They snap back to their previous practices like a tightly wound rubber band.

What would happen if we used fear as a motivator? It seems to me that many of the leading change management practitioners actually do that. Especially with senior management.

Can we apply it to frontline users and project stakeholders?

“If we don’t enable ourselves with this internet thing we’ll be out of business by October next year!”

Are there any change practitioners out there using fear to get change to happen?

Does it work?

Photo by Bah Humbug and CC @ flickr