mOp-Ed: How to Block Change

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

By Mark Oppenheim

Want to stymie change? Try these tried and true techniques:

FUD – spread enough Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, and paralysis will set in. Risk is everywhere! Be afraid, be very afraid!

TALK & STUDY – yack, yack, yack… study, study, study… Let’s form a committee! Information is important, and we need more and more and more and more in order to act.

GOOD AIN’T PERFECT – Ben Franklin (our first blogger) called it “making the perfect the enemy of the good.”   We can’t do anything, because good isn’t perfect.  Compromise is bad, bad, bad!

SLIPPERY SLOPE – If we do this, then some extremely bad version of “this” will happen.

DEATH BY CONSENSUS – Let’s defer decisions until everyone agrees and the loudest voice is quited.

Great orgs don’t tolerate such tactics. Great nonprofits propose, listen, debate and decide…and then they assess, adjust and act again.


Mark Oppenheim is an unrepentant nonprofit wonk who runs nonprofit search and media organizations.

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