“By using this method, we will no longer need those two systems as the new method makes them redundant.” Everyone nodded in agreement saying the client would be pleased as it drives efficiency, reduces costs, etc.
All of this was true, yet we were forgetting about the people involved and that some people’s blood, sweat and tears were tied up in the two systems we were now saying are redundant. For some, those systems had been their life’s work and their work had been groundbreaking and now, we were saying it was no longer needed. For some, their identity was wrapped up in the systems we were dismissing and if we were not wise in our communication we would be heard to be dismissing them.
When championing new ideas it’s easy to forget that the ideas, models, systems, processes, were once also new and that it is likely that many people in your organisation are invested in them – professionally and emotionally. Every act of creation has destruction as part of it. People resist change for all sorts of reasons, identity is usually one of them.