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Change Management Fallacies – Survey

The continued high failure rates of implementing change owe much of their origins to the fallacies of change management and how people view research (based on Korzybski). We would like to know how prevalent these fallacies are in your organization’s leadership team.

Please read the following and then click on the link to complete the survey.

Complete the survey



1. Over-Simplification:  The belief that complex organizations mirror what their leadership think .

“I think we have a pretty good handle on what people think, we don’t need a survey to tell us what we already know”

2. Re-definition: A propensity to cast strong sub-cultures as sources of weakness when they may in fact contribute to the organization’s identity.

It’s the field technicians that’s the problem. They are still resistant to the newer products ans systems”

3. Missionary zeal: The belief that a complex community can be converted to a single purpose that overrides its fractional – often factional – interests and perspectives.”

“I am sure when the see the case for this change they will come along”

4. Displacement:  the attribution to cultural causes of structural weakness.  It is not the values but the organisation or control system that is faulty.

“You know if we had a fully integrated reporting system I think we could overcome many of communication problems”

5. Scapegoating:  The attribution of group’s values to responsibility for failure.

“It’s sales responsibility to ensure good customer follow up but they just don’t seem to care and want to go on to the next deal”

6. False Attribution to one cause what is due to many causes. E.g.

“they didn’t adopt the new technology because they weren’t computer savvy”

7. Discounting: Concluding that because one factor plays a role, another does not; the fallacy of drawing negative conclusions from positive observations. E.g.

 “Our exit interviews show that people are leaving for higher pay and so it’s not anything that management can do differently”

8. Myopia:The idea that change management can divorce the individual from their working environment. E.g.

“People are change resistant because they don’t like the new curriculum”

9. Gut over Data: Drawing conclusions on implied assumptions that when explicitly stated are rejected. E.g

“Yes, I know that’s what your findings say but I think it’s really a recruitment issue”

“You can prove anything with statistics”

10. Politics: Many assumptions influencing reasoning are of the hidden, unconscious type. E.g.

 “When we presented our findings only Joe and Lisa said what they felt, the rest just looked uneasy”

11. Hereditary: Demonstrating that a characteristic is hereditary and not alterable by the environment E.g.

“We found that traditionally main land Chinese expect a “thirteenth month’s pay before Chinese New Year, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

“We wouldn’t have any of these problems if we could get more mid-westerners with their good work ethics”

12. Environment: Demonstrating that a characteristic is altered by the environment and claiming that it is not hereditary. E.g.

“We are getting more quality problems since we installed the new line. It’s the new displays they don’t understand”

Since all important human characteristics are environmental, therefore environment is all-important, hereditary unimportant, in human affairs E.g.

“It’s not so much their experience that matters it’s how they are led. We need our leaders to lead not shilly-shally around having more team meetings”

Complete the survey



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