Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Heard It Here First!

It was July 31, 2009, and a blog post by your friend and mine Stella Rondo made its appearance here. As much as some like to dismiss her observations, I'd say she was right on target with this one, and only about six months before the events she outlined happened...

Any Leftist who wants to apologize to Ms. Rondo for mocking her can send your apologies to me, in care of this blog.

Here is the post again for your viewing pleasure.

A New Post by Stella Rondo

I used to work in something called Organizational Change Management which is fancy schmanzty consultant-speak for "the structured process of leading an organization through the very predictable difficulties that they'll encounter as they go through any change."

The fact is, even if it's the right idea at the right time, most change efforts eventually fail. The primary reason for this is that those leading the change don't account for and address the resistance they are inevitably going to get. It sounds so obvious and simple, and yet it's a consistently ignored factor.

So even if Obama health care bill passed, I think there's a good chance it would eventually collapse in implementation for two reasons:

First, Obama has done a poor job of the most basic step: He has not identified the correct problem - he merely identifies symptoms ("47 million without insurance"). Also, he cannot tell you in a coherent and relatively simple fashion what the solution is going to look like. He had a preconceived idea of the solution he wanted to use (government) and shaped the problem to fit his solution, not the other way around. So he is trying to implement the wrong solution on a problem that can't be defined on a population that, according to polls, increasingly does not want.

Second, Obama is trying to force a solution that goes contrary to core American culture. By culture, I don't mean Britney Spears and American Idol. (Consultant speak alert!) Culture is all the unspoken assumptions a group holds about the world and how it works, if the group has survived by conforming to those assumptions. Culture provides the unspoken context and answers for every thing we do, from "why does our group exist?" to "How will we talk to each other?" to "What happens when you make mistakes?"

We used to say,"'culture eats strategy for breakfast", and Obama does not realize what he's up against when he tries impose a change that goes contrary to it. Culture is so powerful that people will deny, minimize, ridicule, or dismiss the reality of what they see or experience if it conflicts with their core cultural assumptions. (This is why so many people cannot believe that Obama would deliberately do anything to harm the country - their cultural assumption is that all presidents love America and have her best interests at heart.)

The polls reflect these types of cultural assumptions - the public does NOT think that government is the best place to solve problems, they do NOT want larger government, they do NOT like all this spending, and they do NOT want to lose the individual freedom they have to determine their own lives. And yet that is the very type of solution Obama seems intent on implementing.

So should the bill pass, Obama is entering implementation with a poorly defined problem, a poorly defined solution, and a resistant, increasingly hostile, and impatient public whose core cultural beliefs are attacked. I would not be surprised to eventually see things like a return of Congress to the GOP, doctor strikes, public marches, computer programming snafus, "sick-outs", and computer hackings, to name just a few ways in which people could resist.

I know people voted for "change" - but here's what I came to learn about that. When people say they want change, they really want one of three things: 1) some novelty, 2) some relief, or 3) for the OTHER guy to change to their lives will go back to 'normal' without them having to expend any effort. People do NOT willingly vote to change their entire concept of self and country, which is what Obama is imposing - and why he ultimately will fail.

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