44 Reasons why the old guard doesn’t change

It’s an age-old refrain: “The times, they are a-changin’, and we must change, too.” Sure, we know! There is not an industry conference, annual management retreat, town hall meeting or customer conference that goes by without this plea. And it sounds great: like rolled-up sleeves and heading for new shores. “We are the change! Hurray!”

Even the best-laid plans go awry when reality gets in the way. Then starts the game of trying to dodge the discomfort of change and defending the reasons for avoiding it.

1. That won’t work.

2. That’s too expensive.

3. Someone already tried that seven years ago.

4. We don’t have the manpower for it.

5. The budget won’t allow it.

6. Oh, you’ve come at a very bad time.

7. No one ever asked for this.

8. Our customers/business partners/stakeholders/_____ don’t want that.

9. I’d like to, but they won’t let me.

10. I haven’t got time.

11. We don’t have enough expertise for that.

12. The worker’s council will never approve.

13. But the old way still works.

14. We are too busy.

15. It’s too radical a change.

16. We’re not ready for it.

17. That’s not our problem.

18. That’s impossible.

19. The bosses won’t like it.

20. That’s beyond our scope.

21. We don’t have the personnel.

22. It needs further investigation.

23. No one will understand it.

24. We’ve been doing things this way for over 20 years.

25. If it were possible, someone else would have already done it.

26. It won’t work like that.

27. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

28. The ROI is too uncertain.

29. That doesn’t work in practice.

30. I need to sleep on this.

31. That requires a feasibility study.

32. We need to wait for a better financial situation.

33. We need to avoid a cannibalization effect.

34. What if we fail?

35. That is correct but …

36. We cannot find anyone who “gets” it.

37. We’ve tried that before.

38. Let’s discuss it later.

39. If the conditions were different, it might be an option.

40. We should stay out of it.

41. It’s too risky.

42. We don’t have the right connections.

43. Correct in principle, but not applicable here.

44. Marketing research argues against it.


Forty-four hackneyed phrases.
Forty-four megahits of resistance.
Forty-four good reasons not to change anything?


Please share this with your colleagues!
Develop a bullshit radar!

Transformation is in full swing. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to step forward. We need to get involved. To quote the writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson:

There are always two parties, the party of the Past and the party of the Future; the Establishment and the Movement.

Whose side are you on?