Imagine that you're recovering from triple bypass surgery. You're not feeling great. A doctor leans over your bed to take your pulse and says to you, “We need to talk about some changes you're going to have to make in your lifestyle to prevent this from happening again.”
Would you change?
Well, if you’re like the majority of patients, probably not. Research by Dr. Edward Miller, dean of the medical school and CEO of the hospital at Johns Hopkins University, found that nine out of 10 bypass patients don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of a next event.
If 90% of people don’t change when faced with a life-threatening situation, imagine how many people don’t change for smaller, less important things.
And if it’s so hard to get one person to change, imagine how hard it can be to get a group to change. Now think about how hard it is to change an entire organization, made up of people with different agendas, different mindsets, different ideas.
If you’ve ever been responsible for leading change in an organization, you don’t need to imagine it—you know how hard it is.