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Resistance is Fruitful

If the completion of your project means real change — not cosmetic changes (reskins, new titles), but cultural changes (new architecture, new roles) — then you should expect resistance. In fact, if you’ve been working for a while and no one has challenged the value or necessity of what you are doing, then there is likely a lack of awareness or understanding of what you are working on.

Resistance is a sign that you are making things happen. It’s not a positive thing in and of itself, but it tells you that people are paying attention and that they are worried about your impact on the status quo. Regardless of the scale of change, you should expect people (often many people) to have a problem with it because it means they will have to adapt.

When resistance forms, it can be vicious and often damaging. I used to freak out when people hit me with their complaints and condescension. I wondered how they could be opposed to something that was meant to help them and their organizations to grow. Now, I know that it’s natural and that it’s an opportunity for me to build bridges and gain supporters.

Resistance is fruitful: it leads to conversations and collaborations that increase both your chances of success and the value of your successes. Be worried when no one complains. Be grateful when people start questioning and complaining about what you are doing.

…Then work on winning them over.

Published in Rants Working Blog

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