Change and Risk: Office Politics


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Part of a post I wrote for Governor's School about politics playing a part in opposing change

Political will is a large factor. And by politics I'm not talking about Democrats, Republicans, Congress, and local governments - although they frequently are roadblocks. I'm talking about people who are content with the way things work. Staff members who know their jobs and are afraid of change. Entrenched companies making money now do not like new ideas that compete with their business models. People do not like change since it is risky. Things change slowly.

I've learned this over many years of getting my ideas shot down. What may look like a good idea on the outside my not fly in the (corporate) culture. ("Corporate culture" best defines this type of culture, but this principle does not just apply to corporations - non-profits, schools, communities, a state, a country)

Almost every idea proposed would require some sort of change in culture; these changes need to be understood before implementing an idea. Implementing Moodle in a school is a giant change in culture. Some people will like it, a lot will not. Many teachers who have been using the same methods for years will not want to implement Moodle. I've found it is best to give people a choice and let them implement it how they feel they will be use it. This would cause uniform or perfect implementation but allow people to best pick what works for them.