Should You Fire Conscientious Objectors? - InformationWeek

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Should You Fire Conscientious Objectors?
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User Rank: Ninja
3/28/2017 | 7:18:37 AM
Listen to the objectors
Of course things are much easier and more pleasant if everyone just says "Yes" to what management proposes. Surrounding yourself with agreeing bobble heads is a sure path to failure.

Years ago I was in a choir and as the youngest member was quickly voted onto the board to give a fresh perspective. One board member was almost always against everything and he went to lengths to explain his objections. At first, I though he is just miserable and annoying, but when it turned out that he was right on a few occasions my view changed. It completely flipped when his opposition saved our club from a substantial financial loss.

I have no idea if he always disliked the ideas, but his attitude forced everyone else to think over our decisions and revise them as needed. He was a pain to work with, but overall one of the biggest contributors and delivering great value.

No matter what the motives are, listen to the objectors. They have a different view of things and they challenge leadership who otherwise might think they are infallible. When convincing the objectors that their view is not accurate they also tend to become the biggest advocates for the proposed change. Objectors are often the biggest friends you have, don't fire them!
User Rank: Ninja
3/16/2017 | 5:04:50 PM
Two additional possibilities
The conscientious objector may be right, in which case the plan might need to be changed (management is fallible too); or there may be well founded moral objections that management does not necessarily accept, but which are likely to cause problems down the road, especially if word of the plan reaches the public; again, the plan may have to be abandoned or revised to keep the consequences from blowing up in management's collective face later.

Not everybody can be accomodated, but in general, it's bad policy to make people choose between their jobs and their consciences.
User Rank: Apprentice
3/16/2017 | 4:33:28 PM
Remember, if you forget the past you are doomed to repeat it
My concern about this entire article is the fact that not all change is good.  In the end leaders are human and can make mistakes too.  As such leaders need to gain the input of those below them before initiating change.  A top down approach is not always, and in my experience rarely, the best way to go forward.  Too often what is new to someone is just a rehashed process that has been tried before and failed.  The only problem is that the failure has either been forgotten or the current leader was not in place to experience it.  Those that forget / ignore or are unwilling to listen to the past are doomed to repeat it.

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