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Why Change Is Difficult

  1. Change is more difficult than you believe. Having an intellectual understanding the reason something needs to change isn’t enough. An emotional need to change is necessary and more powerful.
  2. Change is psychological. You first have to have a shift in your mindset, your personal philosophy, your personal psychology. Without that shift, there will be no change.
  3. Why something is being changed is more important than how that change is accomplished.
  4. Change takes longer than you believe. It takes longer to sell, longer to build consensus, and longer to execute before results are seen. It is mistake to believe the results of change will be realized quickly, even though change happens in a second.
  5. Change comes with built-in enemies. The very fact that you are trying to make change will cause some to oppose you. Resistance is your enemy when you try to change yourself.
  6. Most change initiatives die not because the idea isn’t good or necessary but because it was poorly executed. The change is usually poorly executed because it lacks executive engagement. People are exceptionally gifted at waiting out change initiatives.
  7. We overestimate what we can accomplish in a short period of time and underestimate what we accomplish over a longer period. When results don’t come fast, change initiatives are often abandoned. The better results were only a little bit further.
  8. Sometimes change initiatives fail because too many variables are changed at once. One major change might have been enough to produce a result, but because so much was attempted, nothing really changed. When too much is changed, you can’t easily figure out what is working and what isn’t.
  9. Radical change very quickly becomes the new status quo. It soon develops its own defenders who protect it from future change.


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