December 19, 2005

Machiavelli on Change Management

Niccolo MachiavelliI just finished burning some files to a CD for a colleague, and I happened to re-read a very short file that I had stored in my computer. Ol' Nic here knew a thing or two about change management that I think bears repeating.

A Thought Concerning Why People Complain About New Systems

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favour; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others only defend him half-heartedly, so that between them he runs great danger."

The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Certainly illuminates the hyperbolic vitriol of the reactionary right to the the modest agent of change we now have.