Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why people don't like standardization.

At the outset, I must say I've learned to "assume good intent."  By that I mean I assume everyone wants to succeed as an individual and wants their organization  or company to succeed.  I assume no one is deliberately trying to sabotage an initiative just for the heck of it.  I guess computer hackers do that but I'm interested in people working inside a company with the company's best interests at heart.   The question of the day is why people don't like it. I've got a couple of hypotheses that come from my own experiences. One is what I've called the dark side of learning. What I mean by that is people have learned a way of solving a particular problem, it works and they are reluctant to change. Physician practices in health care are a good example. Doctors learn a particular surgical method or proper prescription for certain symptoms, it works, and they are reluctant to change something that works. Getting doctors to prescribe medications from a fixed formulary rather than the ones they are used to is another manifestation of this.  Un-learning previous success isn't easy.  There's also often a belief that my circumstances are unique and demand unique solutions. "Things are different here....". There is usually a deep mistrust of corporate center initiatives. "They really don't know what it's like down here".... "They are just pursuing their own personal political agenda"...There can also be trust issues related to cultural stereotypes on teams with different nationalities.  Then there is the pride of ownership issue. Sometimes a business leader has encountered a problem, a local solution has been designed and implemented and been highly successful and an employee has gotten high praise and reward. There is an understandable unwillingness to give that up for a different solution that has worked elsewhere.  I'm sure others could add to this list but I think the core issue for a leader is "What do I do to deal with the resistance?"  We'll tackle that tomorrow.

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