Don’t think talking about change will deliver change

I was invited to lunch yesterday to what was presented as a discussion forum about change, leadership, politics, philosophy with a combination of good food and great company. 
I enjoyed it. But to be honest it was more a whinge session about office politics without any commitment to do anything about it. It is what a psychologist would describe as bonding by “…ain’t it awful…” stories.
I attempted to provoke some passion and ownership by asking “what do you really care about” and positive action by asking “what change would you make”. Both received mute response.
I followed-up with a challenge: would you rather be liked or right? They were evasive.
These were very interesting and capable people, but when I thanked my host I asked “do you actually want to do something or whether the intention is only debate”. The reply was a little disappointing “Debate only! Those days are gone!”
The irony is that these people are capable of effecting the change they would like to see and based on what they said change would benefit everyone in their organisation. Is the missing ingredient leadership or courage?
Or perhaps the group dynamic would change if they resolved the problems that brought them together.
What do you think?
Tim Rogers is an experienced Management Consultant, Project and Change Leader. He is also Commonwealth Triathlete and World Championships Rower and a Tutor/Mentor on the Chartered Management Institute.

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog