In late December I posted an excerpt about how organizations seek ideamongers, but foster a culture that protects the status quo and finds comfort in predictability.

In what is most likely a set of interesting coincidences for which I am allowing myself to be aware, I am finding all sorts of situations, experiences, and readings that resonate this thinking.

The quote below from Leo Tolstoy (1897) is one such reading.  Upon reflecting on what Tolstoy is saying it hit me. Much of the challenge that I face in bringing ideas that are new to an organization (not new ideas necessarily) are grounded in the preconceptions of those already here. Management’s own preconceived “answers” to the questions they hired me to assist in answering are creating the speed bumps to organizational change. No matter my experience, knowledge or communication skill – they are the most difficult to persuade.

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.

I also recognize that I fall into the same trap. Now, how to escape?