In a world that is constantly changing there is pressure to adapt. Often we can get by with small, controlled adjustments. Occasionally we are called on to make deeper changes.
It is normal for us to resist the process of deep change because it requires the surrender of control and the risk of making mistakes. When we receive feedback that suggests we need to make deep change, we tend to engage in various forms of denial. We distort the messages we receive insisting that the world still fits our past images and categories. This process is normal.
Instead of flourishing in an expanded awareness of the changing environment we move towards the stagnation that is associated with a restricted awareness of the changing environment. At such moments we are internally closed to the external messages that require change and would give us life.
This is an individual tendency. We all do it. It is also an organizational tendency. When there is something at stake it is natural for a group or organization to practice denial. We have seen major companies collapse for this very reason. One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to continually engage reality and help others to do the same.