Interesting post from Change Guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter on her Harvard Business Blog on Tools for Defeating Denial. Whenever a change agent is involved in bringing about that change, confronting denial is essential. Some tools suggested in dealing with that denial.
- Unassailable facts. Change advocates must make sure the evidence they marshall is beyond reproach, which often means from multiple sources. Small flaws discredit the case for change.
- Counter-arguments. Supporters watch how leaders handle skeptics and critics. Each counter-attack must be answered. Change advocates must know the other side as well as their own.
- Big Picture. Significant change rests on beliefs, not just facts; the future is inherently uncertain, facts only a starting point. Change leaders must cultivate fired-up stakeholders by identifying long-term benefits valuable to many. Leaders must inspire belief that they stand with and for stakeholders’ values and goals.
- Pressure and repetition. When pressure for change is in deniers’ faces every day, they often succumb. Staying on message and communicating often can sometimes defeat denial.