Friday, November 6, 2015

The word "Because" as an impediment to change

Someone tried to start a conversation with me about this over at another social network well known for business communication and discussion.  For some reason, I can't leave him a reasonable response.

Therefore, I have decided to just repost the conversation here instead of fighting whatever changes took place.

Here's my post...

An interesting discussion today where the damage caused by the word "Because" became brutally evident as an impediment to change. Wow. Cool insight.
Followed by a question from Paul J. Heidema....
Mike - this is interesting. Can you tell us more about how this word caused damage?

I tried send an appropriate response via the social network and gave up.. So, for those of you that are interested, here's the response.. 


Thanks for asking.

I was asked to help out where teams were told at the beginning of a transformation to be challenging and come up with new ideas for existing problems.

After several visits and observation, I found every team deciding during retrospectives that their ideas were no good "Because'... and a current rule would be provided.

At the beginning of the transformation, little attention was given to leadership communication. Early on, team members would come up with ideas, and they would instantly be told "We can't do this Because of.."

The new prevailing culture is one where smart people are killing their ideas almost instantly before they see the light of day for fear of just being shot down for non-compliance to current rules.

In essence, the desire to attempt to make changes had been removed, rendering the change frozen in the current space in time.

We are working to change the conversation to.. "We can't currently do this, but if we change something here, we can make progress toward leadership's vision". 

There has already been some positive feedback in only a few days.