Its Like Teaching a Pig to Sing:

You just get frustrated and it just irritates the pig.

My Friend BC offered up that tidbit at a Toastmaster meeting a couple of weeks ago in talking about how many people react to change. Why is it that we react so to change? Is it because we do not have an environment that supports change?

Recently I have been reading Stomp the Elephant at the Office by Steven Vannoy and Craig Ross; a great book on office and corporate dynamics; and how we can create environments where change and productivity are encouraged.  They offered three conditions that foster this kind of environment:

1. Help the team feel good
2. Invite the team to participate in change
3. Tap into their motivation

Contrast that with the conversation I was having with an acquaintance a few months back; talking about how organizations can build trust when it is not present currently. (He had been complaining about how a colleague did not trust others on the team). 

I asked him, “So how do we foster trust on the team”? His answer surprised me; “How about we do like Moses and lead them around the desert for 40 years until all the non-believers die off.” That’s one way to get there I suppose. I suspect that many good producers will run out of the desert looking for greener pastures leaving my colleague alone and floundering.  At the end of the day, he will be left with an organization rife with distrust and challenges.

How are you building an environment for change?



  1. Your 3 points above are interesting, especially when you take them into considerating with respect to what’s going on with our country these days. How does “Hope and Change” measure up against the 3 points above?

    Does the country feel good? I don’t think so. In fact, we are constantly being told how bad things are. ‘Gloom and doom’ is being used to cause fear, which is in turn being used to create change, no matter what the cost! As far as team participation, that’s not happening either. While we were promised a culture of inclusion, what we are actually getting is a culture of “we have to move quickly, and we will because we have the votes and we can”. Any outside thoughts or ideas aren’t being considered. In fact, the process is moving so quickly that no one has time to even consider what’s happening, let alone contribute to the discussion process. As far as motivation, I think people are motivated to change, but unfortunately the motivation is stemming from fear.

    What we are left with is an administration that is ramming an agenda down our throats, using the adage that “we wanted change”. This in turn is creating a lot of fear and dissention in our country, and a lot of people wondering how we got to this point. When people cast their votes, I don’t think they realized that this sort of change was what they signed up for.

  2. Tom,

    I think fear is often a fall back position. Politicians and managers have been using it since I can remember. The problem with fear is people get fed up with it. I think thats what happened to the last administration and it will happen to this one also if they don’t step back and lead the change.

    My Opinion is that Great leaders have a vision and then they create buy in from followers based on the benefits or the “good” of that vision. When we pursue a vision based on fear people will look for a new vision.

    take good care,

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