Do you have a no change culture?

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Do you have a no change culture?

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Change might be considered to be one of the most underrated words responsible for eliciting a strong emotional response. In the workplace when somebody brings up change, the measurement of heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels are sure to increase. Likely not the kind of change anyone is hoping for.

Planning work

Change is a factor for any successful venture and its sensitive nature is a constant across all generations, not just boomers, not just millennials or any of the other generational segments, but all of them. Most people don’t like change and we could entertain the idea of change and our comfort zone which holds an important message, but that isn’t the discussion point here.

Change and Culture

Change leaders often suggest that they need to obtain buy-in. Does buy-in for change come naturally, or is it at least in-part something that is created or obtained? Change makes people feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid. It may not even be so much about liking or disliking change but it is often about the collective experiences (sometimes negative) that people have accumulated during their lifetime. These collective experiences sometimes make people falsely believe that those who have been in the workplace longer are more resistant to change, citing that they have experienced more change (change failure) and as a result are less enthusiastic about anything related to change. For each argument there might be an equal and opposite argument and this subject is not an exception for this type of controversy.

Does your organization have a no change culture? Often, it is not hard to find attitudes in the workplace that are change adverse, and I should stress that not only is this not uncommon, but in many cases it should be expected. This doesn’t mean that it is the bosses fault or that it is a terrible organization, it might just mean that there is more opportunity to create strong buy-in. Do people in your organization have the attitude of:

  • Everything is fine, don’t change anything
  • We’re knowledgeable and comfortable
  • We have few problems or they are easily fixed
  • We’re in control of this, no worries
  • We like it safe and protected

When the culture bleeds change adverse attitudes you might just have a no change culture. Often those responsible for change efforts believe this is a brick wall, and one that is too high to jump or too hard to scale. What organizations fail to see is the potential opportunity to create buy-in through actualizing the vision, creating shared experiences, and effectively using communication channels that build trust.

What about your organization or life’s experiences? Do you have a no change attitude or culture?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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September 23, 2016at 7:50 am

How often do you embrace change?

…alter your course?

…let go of the old and usher in the new?


    Dennis Gilbert

    September 23, 2016at 8:32 am

    Great question! (and so many ways to answer) Personally, I do two main things: 1) monitor progress compared to goals, and 2) observe trends. While there are several other factors those are the 2 with the most monitoring or observation. Based on that, I change as needed. How often? It varies greatly, and being honest I do sometimes stay stuck too long and other times perhaps alter a course too soon. All a learning and growing process. Thanks for giving me this thoughtful question. (Questions guide our focus!)

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