Some of you may be wondering what confrontation and emerging technologies have to do with one another. The answer is a fair amount when you put it in the context of change. Emerging technologies are likely to bring with them change. Some people fear losing their jobs, losing power, losing money and losing influence that may accompany change. Others may just fear their ability to adapt. Regardless of what drives them, some people take action to delay the change or derail what is driving the change.
Opposition or resistance to change, modifications or transformations that alter the current operational models is becoming much more common these days. Arguably the increase frequency is due to technologies that are emerging. Resistance to change is not uncommon and most if not all of us have dealt with this issue in our role as a program or project manager. What is allot less likely that many of us have seen this taken to the next level. Some people choose to confront the change directly. We have begun to see their opposition taken to the next level and that is efforts to sabotage a program or project.
Some people try to discredit the initiative and claim it will not provide the estimated value. A few others take it to a much greater level. One recent event provides a great example of an effort to sabotage and initiative. One individual purposely failed to file the required paperwork to maintain an exclusive license for an essential piece of technology and that agreement restricted the vendor from selling to a key competitor. The task was identified as complete and the document was identified as being sent to legal and in the project repository. Nothing had been done! Luckily, this was uncovered 5 days before the grace period that was in the contract was due to end.
Countering project sabotage efforts is not easy. When sabotage activities take place, the perpetrators must be confronted. This is something you should not do alone! The question we all need to think about is if we are truly prepared for confrontation that may accompany an emerging technology program or project that brings with it disruption or change?