I think the point Peter makes very well, though he doesn’t say it outright, is that often resistance is not logical but rather political. Not in the sense of Democrat or Republican but rather in the sense of keeping a certain power structure intact. When people come in to suggest a new or different way of doing things, this is an attack on the power structure. So even if the idea is solid, the consequence of implementing it might be perceived as “you win – I lose.”

I am recalling a discussion on GovLoop once – “would you submit an idea if it meant a negative outcome on your job”? Which of course is a very difficult choice. Should you protect yourself, or should you serve the mission?

A similar question – “would you be a backstabber if it meant saving your own skin?” And you can be a backstabber by commission (actively) or omission (passively)…just letting someone else fry so that you can look good.

At the end of the day we have to make our choices, and they are not always easy. But even if you yourself try to do the right thing, you will encounter people who have absolutely no problem doing the wrong thing, justifying their behavior, and demonizing you. The question is, how do you navigate that reality successfully?

And so I think the concept of finding allies and working diplomatically and within a coalition is very smart – no matter how smart you are, you can’t go it alone

Even if you’re installed at the very top of the heap and have the magic wand with which to create the change you seek, if you don’t win over the people in the organization, it is likely that your tenure will be very short.