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.
For managers, managing resistance to change is more than a theoretical discussion. It can be an almost daily "to do." New processes, new policies, new systems-- it just never ends. But what if you had a model you could follow that actually works? And even better, the model helps your organization move the change, level-by-level, business unit-by-business unit through your organization.
You're just doing your job, trying to implement an important change with your team, when suddenly you're whacked over the head by an onslaught of negativity--resistance to change rears its ugly head again! Kinda like the old Whack-A-Mole game at the county fair. How many times can you get knocked down? Where's that coming from, you wonder?