A colleague recently posted this interesting question: "I wonder which is more difficult: envisioning personal change and transforming our own perceptions and lives, or effecting organizational change?" I have thought about this for a while, and I have wondered if this is really a like-with-like comparison.
Personal change is entirely inward looking (excluding concerns about facelifts and the latest fashions, of course). You have to be open-minded and self-critical (but not judgmental), as well as clear-eyed and (brutally?) honest to assess your personal condition.
You can be much more objective and removed from the situation when assessing the need for organizational change. To start, business challenges can seem tangible, if not actually visible. After all, you can look at a Balance Sheet to see right away that a company is in financial trouble. No emotions or soul-searching required.
In the same way, do we really have the ability to be truly objective with ourselves?
Assessing the need for change and transformation is one thing. Action is entirely something else, and maybe this is where we can start to make comparisons.
Whether internal or external, change is almost always met with fear and resistance. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, it is far simpler for people to cling to status quo.
So perhaps the question is: "I wonder what is more difficult: initiating personal change, or convincing others to embrace organizational change."
This may be a stalemate, but either way it isn't easy.