Don’t retreat. Find your resolve and move forward.

Subir Chowdhury

Have you ever noticed that in a lot of organizations, innovation and change are actually met with resistance and rejection? People would rather stay as-is than move forward. Colleagues tell me, “If it is not broken, then don’t break it.” Bosses tell you, “That’s just the way we do things around here,” and “Don’t rock the boat.”

For someone who makes their living helping organizations improve and move forward, this kind of thinking makes me crazy. What’s even more frustrating is that too many of us give up when we encounter resistance to change.

Why? It’s easy to give up. It’s hard to keep moving forward. Instead of having resolve, we retreat.

Here is a quick story to illustrate my point. A manufacturing company I know closed its research and development department, feeling it was more cost-effective to contract that work to outside vendors. About a decade after making this decision, a new executive was shocked and angry that the company had essentially outsourced the development of future products.

In his mind, the decision was shortsighted and put the company at a competitive disadvantage. The company was relying on an outsider to do what he considered a critical function of the organization: developing new products.

He made the decision to reestablish the R&D department, even though his decision was met with huge resistance. He was told it was too expensive to fund with no guaranteed return; plus, it just was not that sexy. But he was resilient in his determination.

He found the funds, recreated the department and hired the best talent he could. Today, the department is well known throughout the industry for the work they are doing and they’re contributing in a big way to the organization’s bottom line.

What did you do the last time you faced resistance? Did you retreat or did you have the resolve to keep pushing forward?


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