Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Work Life: Dealing with Anti-Change Hypocrites

In almost all large corporations, there always seem to be someone that is against any sort of change in practice. I add "in practice" because none of them will openly admit that they are against change. One of the reasons is that they are usually the loudest person about how horrible things are now and that is why they are always behind.

And it is this last point that I believe is the crux of all their "lies" and hypocrisies. They are able to use it as a crutch to continue business as usual because to them this is "retirement work". They only say there so many other factors that are impacting their "low performance".

The reason it is difficult to deal with these people especially with management that do not understand the nuance of human relationships. Things like "lies", "retirement work", and "low performance" are difficult to identify. Interestingly, these people seem to be the most productive in the most obvious of metrics, appearing to be the busiest body.

But there are many red flags that can be used to identify the situation. One of these is "this is how we have always done it" but may not be in these words. This can also be "impossible to regression test", "the new process does cannot handle of these exceptions", or "not enough resources to manage current process and new process". They appear busy because they are just doing repetitive tasks that appear complicate. 

A harder flag to identify is that they avoid building a solution that will address the majority of the problems. They are always the first against standards or general processes. Whenever someone new joins and asks why can't we build a simple solution, that person will face a long list of reasons why it cannot be.

Which leads to another flag. If someone actually sat down to identify these claims, one would find most of these are anecdotal. And in most cases, the simpler solution would even address the claim. One of the favorites used is that they do not have enough resources. The reason they do not have resources is because they do not use standard. To them, additional resources would be needed but management would not give them more resources.

One reason is because they have already thrown them more resources in hopes to address the problem. But because the process does not scale, the problems continue to grow. By the time management realizes this, they are not able to appropriate additional resources. And for some reason in majority of the cases, managers are not able to just say no to incoming requests and prioritize the work so that they can reduce the workload.


There is little that can be done to change the behavior of the anti-change coworker (usually a manager). These people are difficult to deal with and takes risk to manage.

The easiest method is open the eyes of the next level manager. But it cannot be any manager, the manager needs to be someone that is able to enforce the policy change. Most managers are doormats in that they will either collapse from the list of "problems" or all bark with no bite.

Personally, I am fortunate to be in a role that typically has to funnel through me. So I make people's lives "miserable" so that they are encouraged to do the right thing. It is a lot like teaching kids to eat vegetables. And to be fully honest, this is only because I care to make things better. Otherwise, it is super easy for me to coast through my job too.

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