If you are going through an organizational change, no matter how big or how small, whether it is being perceived as negative or positive, resistance is unavoidable. It may be out in the open, or lurking in a dark corner in the break room. But trust us... it’s there.
There is a huge amount of investment being made in assessing and building employee engagement. It is a widespread belief that an “engaged” workforce is a necessary component of long-term organizational success. But what does an engaged employee really look like, and is that truly desirable behavior? How do so-called engaged employees help to build innovation and other transformational changes?
Let’s face it...if you are attempting to implement change, whether it is transformational in scope or a minor procedural adjustment, resistance is going to happen. It’s inevitable...someone somewhere is going to let it be known they don’t like what’s happening.
One of the key principles in the Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) is, “You can expect the most resistance from those people who have the greatest vested interest in keeping things the same.” More often than not, these people are your middle to upper level managers. The reasoning is quite simple; Senior Managers, Directors and VP’s were hired, and are successful at their jobs, because they fit into the organization’s current culture. So what is their motivation to change their own behavior?
One of the most frustrating aspects of implementing change projects is that there is always resistance! IMA recently asked Don Harrison to answer the five common questions we get about what clients can do to better handle resistance to change. Don is the principal designer of the Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) and has 35 years of experience consulting to senior executives at multi-national corporations, entrepreneurial ventures and government agencies around the world. He’s seen all kinds of resistance in his own change management consulting work.
Let’s take a quick poll--it’s just one question. Say “me” if you like change. Do you hear the same crickets we do? In our 30+ years of change management consulting we’ve come to a very serious conclusion. The only person who likes change is possibly...a wet baby!
Resistance to change is a natural part of the transformation process. But, yet, so often leadership is taken by surprise when they become aware of it. Over the years, we’ve witnessed many “ah ha” moments from our change management consulting clients regarding the resistance they’ve experienced within their own organizations.