Change Management:

Knowing People

Resistance to Change

Understanding and Overcoming Human and Organizational Barriers

 

Vadim Kotelnikov

The key difference between losers and winners:
losers approach possible as impossible;

winners approach impossible as possible.

Vadim Kotelnikov,personal logo


  

"It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end." – Leonardo da Vinci 

 

 

Resistance to Change in the Workplace

Main Reasons

  • Fear of the unknown. Change implies uncertainty, and uncertainty is uncomfortable. Not knowing what may potentially happen often leads to heightened anxiety. Resisting change is one of the anxiety-reducing actions.1

  • Fear of failure. The new order may require skill and abilities that may be beyond our capabilities. There is resistance to trying a new approach as people know how to operate in the existing order, but fear they will  not be able to acquire the new skills and behavior that will be required of them.

  • Insecurity. Too many people, especially in a losing bureaucratic organization, see change only as a threat, never as an opportunity.

  • Disagreement with the need for change. Associates may feel that the new direction is a wrong direction.

  • Losing something of value. All associates want to know how the change will affect them. If people believe they will wind up losing as a result of the change, they will resist.

  • Leaving a comfort zone. People are afraid to go after what they want because it would force them to stretch their comfort zones. It's only natural to put off things that scare us, to sidestep goals that require us to leave our comfort zone and take a risk.

  • False beliefs. To put themselves at ease and avoid taking the risk, many people fool themselves into believing everything will all work out someday by itself.

  • Misunderstanding and lack of trust. People resist change when they do not understand its implications and perceive that it might cost them much more than they gain. Such situations often occur when trust is lacking between the person initiating the change and the employees.2

  • Inertia. All organizations suffer from inertia to some degree and try to maintain status quo. Change requires effort, oftentimes, a significant one. So, don't underestimate the power of fatigue and burnout.

Happy vs Unhappy People

10 Differences

10 Differences between a  Winner and a Loser

12 Leadership Roles

Create an Inspiring Vision & Lead by Example

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Most Common Ways

Why Do People Resist Change?

Most people don't like change because they don't like being changed, don't like their comfort zone being penetrated, and prefer to avoid unexpected results. When change comes into view, fear and resistance to change follow – often despite its obvious benefits.

People fight against change because they:

  • don't think that the change makes sense, or

  • don't understand the change and its implications, or

  • fear the unknown, or

  • fear to lose something they value, or

  • don't want to leave their comfort zone, or

  • avoid the unexpected by staying with the comfortable, or

  • find it difficult to cope with either the level or pace of the change.

Resistance emerges when there s a threat to something the individual values. The threat may be real or it may be just a perception. It may arise from a genuine understanding of the change or from misunderstanding, or even almost total ignorance about it.3

Why Change Fails: 8 Common Errors

Human and Organizational Barriers To Change

If you want to overcome resistance to change and lead change successfully, you must not only pursue your vision while being flexible, but also be aware of the barriers you'll face and know how to deal with them... More

 

 

How To Overcome Resistance To Change

Top 10 Tips

Socrates said that “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  How could you lead those around you to prepare for change and successfully lay the groundwork for change?... More

10 Commandments of Innovation

Lead Change. Create a mindset of creative dissatisfaction to reduce resistance to change... More

Give People Time To Digest a New Idea

Give people time to digest a new idea. "Be persistent. Don't expect to "win" the first time. Your first job is just to start the other person thinking," advised Benjamin Franklin in his Bargaining Tips.

 

 

People always resist change, new ideas and new courses of action, even if the ideas are good for them. However, if they have an opportunity to digest these ideas for a few days, they may accept them with enthusiasm. Usually, an individual needs from 24 to 72 hours to absorb a new idea. So, present your ideas in very casual way, as thoughts for consideration or as a coaching or searching question, and then just leave the idea with others, say "we'll discuss this later"  and give them an opportunity to think about it for a few days... More

 

 

References:

  1. Managerial Leadership, Peter A. Topping

  2. What Leaders Really Do, John P. Kotter

  3. Performance Management, Phil Baguley

  4. Strategic Management, Alex Miller

  5. Motivation123, Newsletter, Jason Gracia

  6. How to Overcome Resistance to Change in an Organization, Bradley James Bryant