May 26, 2010
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher. What we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.” ~Chuck Palahniuk
How do we make sense out of the often extremely complicated and confusing dynamics that influence the outcomes of our change initiatives? And once we understand what’s going on, how do we help our sponsors (and, of course, agents and targets) grasp what is unfolding and choose the best course of action, given the present circumstances?
We could use simplistic explanations, but those don’t describe the depth of the situation. Too often, we get lost in the convoluted intricacies of the change and offer help that is more baffling than enlightening. Instead, what we must find,
May 20, 2010
It takes a strong ego to be a successful change agent (it’s not a role for the timid), yet it is this very ego that can pull us over to the dark side of professional arrogance. What can temper our self-confidence enough so that we sustain the inner strength we need, but maintain mutual respect among the different approaches? In my experience, three things can help keep strong egos in alignment with, instead of against, each other.
May 18, 2010
In this series, I’ve been trying to challenge all of us to search out any tendencies of the methodology bigot that we might harbor. We’d rather not admit it, but we probably all have some elements buried inside us. It is hard to be fully dedicated to an approach and avoid crossing the line into disregard, if not intolerance, of alternative perspectives.
No, you’re probably not a full-blown dogmatist as characterized by all the attributes I have described. Neither am I, but
May 13, 2010
Many reading this series on the methodology bigot’s mindset may be appalled at the notion such thinking could survive in this age of enlightenment, much less within the civilized, savvy field of change management. Some may think that if this kind of partisan judgment does exist, it must be limited to a small minority. I’m not suggesting that methodology bigotry is universal among change practitioners, but it’s far more prevalent than is healthy for our individual development, or the general maturation of our field. In fact, this kind of prejudice has become pervasive precisely because, for the most part, practitioners are unaware it has taken up residence within themselves and within our ranks. And a problem unrecognized usually means a problem in unabated growth mode.
Methodology bigots don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “It’s a good day
May 11, 2010
The first step toward recovery for any of us who might have fallen into the “pit of arrogance” is to acknowledge the problem.
One of the reasons AA is so successful is that its members know first-hand the challenges of alcoholism. They also know all the ways people can kid themselves into thinking their problem is under control when it’s not. No one can be as supportive or as brutally honest with an alcoholic as another alcoholic can.
It is from this perspective that I am both empathetic and confrontive toward methodology bigots. I am one. (Yes, you read correctly. I used the present tense).
As with many deep-seated dysfunctions, healing from this destructive mindset is not a destination, it is
May 6, 2010
Hi. My name is Daryl Conner and I’m a methodology bigot.
Methodology bigots are “true believers” in the worst sense.
There are many positive and admirable aspects to being not just a supporter, but a disciple, of a particular methodology of change. Here are two examples:
* The enthusiast has a loyal conviction to his or her methodology, which fosters effective application of the concepts and techniques.
* He or she is willing to penetrate deep into the crevasses and nuances of an approach to search out the hidden treasures.
As wonderful as this kind of dedication can be, there is a down side to being a true believer: The practitioner can become so adamant about the singular correctness of his or her approach that other methodologies are considered unworthy.
Herein lies the essence of the Methodology Bigot Syndrome,
May 4, 2010
Methodology bigots don’t fight—we just snub each other.
As a profession, we’ve unofficially agreed that too much open display of friction is not acceptable. Instead, those who think they independently own the holy grail express their pejorative views about frameworks other than their own by simply ignoring them.
Don’t get me wrong—we read one another’s books, articles, blogs, and websites—but mostly to confirm that what’s there isn’t worth pursuing in more depth. We even attend one another’s speeches and seminars, but primarily to engage in “stealth due diligence.” We’re sure that what we already have is the best approach to change but we are always on alert. You never know when someone outside the anointed circle might inadvertently stumble across something worth listening to.