Because of my liberal leanings on social issues (and the conflict that creates with my feelings about fiscal ones), I try to leave politics out of the things I write here at Answer Guy Central. So let me be clear: I have no political or ideological axe to grind with the Republican Right, much of which is getting pretty darned noisy following their landslide victory in US Elections a couple of days ago.
I do, however, have a practical problem with them. Because their mouths are standing firmly in the way of change. And there’s a business change lesson here.
Republican leaders are promising repeal of the Health Care Reform Act passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Obama early this year. This is a promise they cannot possibly deliver on. I learned that all the way back in my high school constitution class, and nothing in the constitution has changed; it’s just not possible.
Why, then, all the bluster?
Business Change (or change to “business as usual”) isn’t something that gets done by shouting. In fact, even when you have “control” (and I assure you, nobody is in control of the US Government—which is both a curse and a blessing), you don’t really have control. Some rules are official, some, like that darned sixty-vote filibuster rule in the US Senate, aren’t, and you need to learn how to navigate the system you work in if you’re ever to be in control of your business changes.
About fifteen years ago, Fred Langa, then the Editor-in-Chief of Windows Magazine, asked me to take over a column being vacated by a very famous writer. He then called a few days later to apologize and un-ask me because the people who worked for him wanted someone else to get the gig. Fred could have overruled that request, but he understood he needed to work with these people and that he gained more by accepting a not-quite-as-good choice to write that column than he would gain by exerting his “authority”.
And the new Republican majority in the US House of Representatives doesn’t even represent any such authority.
Business Change is about seeing both sides of issues and making the tough choices. And that can be difficult. But both you and Representative John Boehner need to use those skills if you’re to succeed in effecting real change in a changing environment.
And yes, of course The Answer Guy can help.