For any movement of change to take place successfully and have a positive impact on teaching and learning, a large number of faculty and staff must be involved. To think we can move ahead with just the trailblazers and pioneers is exactly why so many of our reform efforts fail.
If we look closely at our resisters and saboteurs, we recognize that many of them, as Schlechty point out, have the same characteristics as trailblazers and pioneers. Many may reveal a past as trailblazers, but began resisting due to a lack of leadership, and more than likely worked with leaders who did not give them support and encouragement and trust. Herin lies the paradox: Though resisters display immediate opposition, they possess untapped energy and creativity often ignored by leaders. Two quotes from the business world seem appropriate here:
- "Had there not been resistance, I don't think we would have been as successful as we have been. That being said, I hated that resistance." (Patrick Connolly, Executive Vice President, Williams-Sonoma Company.)
- "We must find the radicals, the true revolutionaries, and support them." (Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman and CEO, IBM)