They Are Making Me Change Again!

And I didn't like it.
I didn't like that "they" were not asking me to change. They were requiring me to change. It's happened before. I know it will happen again. I can be as CHANGE RESISTANT as the next person. Especially when I really like things the way they are.

So, here I was and there they were. You may be wondering - who is the they?

Why it is the good folks at Apple and the good folks at Google. Those creative, innovative, design and sell products people who are running the world, making truckloads of money, and changing the our way of life. That is who THEY are.

I liked the operating system I was using on my iPad and my iPhone. Then I had to update and upgrade to the new operating system. I did. Like a trillion other users, who apparently all had the same ideas on the same two days. It took, well, I'll be discrete - awhile to download.

And then, there it was - ready to be used. And I DID NOT LIKE IT, NO NOT ONE BIT (allusion to Dr. Suess is intentional). Sigh. They made me change. I liked it the way it was. Now I had a new version. I didn't like it. But I was stuck with it. So I had to use it. And use it, I did. the more I used it, the more I liked it. Now - I reallly like it. If they gave me the option between the previous operating system and the new one - I will keep the new one, thank-you very much.

Before I draw a lesson or two, here is one more example.

I've been using iGoogle for a long time. For a long time there has been the ominous message appearing on my iGoogle page.

iGoogle will not be available after November 1, 2013

I didn't like that message. For over a year I have been seeing it every day. A few weeks ago I started playing around with Chrome. And I DID NOT LIKE IT, NO NOT ONE BIT. Then yesterday, with a month left to go, I accepted the fact - they were making me change. So I spent about three hours really working with Chrome. I started to transfer my main pages to Chrome. Then I started loking around the Store and seeing what they had to offer. I decided that I would use Chrome all day.

Guess what. I love it. I used iGoogle this morning, by default, and I realized - it seems old, tired, a has been. If the fine folks at Google would give me a choice, it is a no-brainer. Give me my Chrome.

Okay, just a few lessons.

1. We are change resistant, even when the change is good for us. Leaders DO NOT FORGET THAT principle. Our awesome ideas that involve change are not seen as good news.

2. We have to find ways to get people to experiment, to taste and see, to test and try out. If the change is good, they will get hooked. If it is not good, then the earlier you know that - great. 

3. Give people a little time to get accustomed to the new thing. A mild interest may deepen with some experience. One of the reasons we resist change is fear of the unknown. Okay, so give them enough time so it is NOW KNOWN. When they are familiar with the change, it is a short step to being comfortable with it, and then preferring it.

What else have you found that makes change possible - for yourself and for those you lead?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International