On Fear of Change

Thursday of last week, I was on a conference call regarding a change – a fairly fundamental one – that needed to be made in order for a client to move their marketing efforts forward, or even into 2016. But this conversation involved another, third-party vendor of this same client. This third party supplies something that is out of date and that is very much holding back said client and is in urgent need of being replaced. But rather than being a good partner to the client (long-term view), they quickly became combative, protective and launched into a litany of negative “you can’t” preceded by comments on how and why this change would be detrimental. But not to the client; to them (short-term view).

When the call was finished, I was speaking with a colleague with whom I have now had the joy of working at four different companies. We have a similar work ethic, thought process and skill set, so our take on this conversation was likewise the same. Except that from amongst the thorny, more than fifty-minute call, he had extracted one observation that not only succinctly summed this particular situation, but also another parallel conundrum we currently face. He essentially said that it’s companies such as this third party supplier, who made their money on one single attribute that has long since been outdated, which go out of their way to hold back their clients from progress because they have failed to – or refused to – make progress themselves. They have one last piece of leverage they hold onto and over their clients’ heads in order to ensure they remain – if not relevant – at least necessary to the client. Like the clingy ex who would rather be needed for what they have (required and resented) than loved for who they are (chosen of free will). Not attractive.

Ironically, also on Thursday, late in the day as I was cleaning out my inbox from the emails I had skipped over in preference of those more pertinent, I came across an all company chain that had been sent earlier, but which I had not opened. When I did, I quickly realized that this very thinly veiled snark that had been sent to the entire company was aimed at me and that three other people had piled on to help the originator of the first in the thread. The most surprising aspect of this being that I do not know and have never even met the person who originated the email, yet he somehow seems to think that he knows me – or at the very least has somehow, via what I am sure is most reliable fourth party information – got the measure of me.

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