Championing Change – The Parable of the Boiled Frog

boiling-frogAn experiment was conducted back in the late 19th century in which a frog was placed in very hot water.  Immediately sensing danger from the extreme heat, the frog jumped out to safety.  However, placing the frog in cool water and slowly raising the temperature resulted in the frog getting groggier and groggier, and finally boiling to death.

Nature programmed the frog to respond to sudden changes in his environment, not gradual changes.  Similarly, most people are instinctively resistant to change.  In fact, the problem is actually not so much resistance to change per se, but rather an inability or unwillingness to cope with change.  It is no wonder that so many of our initiatives struggle or fail to get off the ground.  We blame the employees, refer to the “old school” mentality, but the fact is that the fault lies with us, the leaders, for failing to cultivate a culture in which change is non-threatening.

As managers and leaders, we are responsible for championing and facilitating many types of change – product launches, marketing initiatives, sales strategies, policies, etc.  This means much more than simply adopting a positive attitude or being cheerleaders in morning staff meetings.  The fact is, leaders often fail their teams by relying solely on the acceptance of authority as the primary motivation for buy-in, with little or no thought given to the cultural complexion of the team and its individual members, or even previous responses to new initiatives or changes to organizational structure.   In the absence of a culture that tolerates change, let alone one that embraces it, we just keep tossing the same set of frogs into new pots of boiling water.

Next Post: Creating a Culture of Alignment

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About Bryant
Bryant is a business management and organizational development executive with over 20 years’ experience focused on financial and operational efficiencies, talent development and optimization, improved employee engagement, and cultural alignment of teams within the organization. He has diverse experience in successful financial and strategic planning, brand management, leadership analysis and talent development, as well as designing and executing improvements to teams’ cultural efficacy and organizational alignment. Bryant has experience in both International Public S&P 500 Corporate and Non-Profit Sectors, and also runs his own entrepreneurial business venture, a consulting company specializing in helping small businesses and organizations improve operational efficiency, leadership development, and employee engagement . Bryant holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA).

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