Image via CrunchBase
As many of you know, there has been an interesting and spirited debate going on around Chris Anderson's (pictured) new book Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Malcolm Gladwell's review of that book, and Seth Godin's rebuttal to Gladwell's review.
What I find interesting are that the tactics being used and the roles being assumed look very much like those employed during a change management effort within an organization.
There are people advocating, recognizing, and interpreting change (Anderson and Godin) and there are those seemingly resisting change or debating its impact (Gladwell).
Those that bring up alternatives or poke holes at the new direction are regarded by the "change visionaries" as resistant, threatened, or sometimes, simply ignorant. Often, while some are truly resistant to change, many are simply raising issues and perspectives that haven't been fully considered by the change management effort.
On the other side, change visionaries are often resistant to considering anything contrary to their position. Adaptation or adjustment of the change being implemented is viewed as selling out or lacking faith.
It's the healthy debate between these groups, and the shades of gray between them, that allows the organization to find its way and avoid some costly mistakes in the process.