10 Practices That Leaders Can Use to Lower Resistance to Change and Drive Innovation
It’s hard to avoid resistance to change in large organizations. The best that can be expected is to reduce resistance to change through specific practices. Leadership that is able to manage change by reducing resistance will be better able to drive both change management innovation in the long run.
Resistance to change is futile in growing organizations.
Change will happen eventually. If change doesn’t happen, organizations die.
Change indicates life. Death is the absence of change.
10 SOURCES of resistance to change:
- Rash decision-making on the part of management. Sudden unplanned changes in direction invite resistance.
- Lack of follow-through. Teams grow weary of constant beginnings without successful achievements.
- Lack of information.
- Colliding values. Good friends part ways over colliding values.
- “How will I fit in?”
- Personal agendas.
- Fear of the unknown.
- Loss of status.
- Feeling powerless.
10 SYMPTOMS of resistance to change:
- Foot Dragging. “If I wasn’t so busy, I could help with this change effort. But I’m too busy delivering my real work.”
- Nothing’s right or good enough.
- Lateral transfers. “Get me out of here.”
- Lower productivity. Work slow downs.
- Negative attitudes.
- Gossip and backstabbing. Resisting change motivates people to make change agents look bad.
- Increased sick days.
10 PRACTICES that lower resistance to change:
- Participation lowers resistance when values and mission align. Invite people who are impacted by change to navigate the path forward.
- You tend to believe people you like and distrust people you dislike. Trusting relationships lower resistance to change, but they don’t eliminate it.
- Transparency with goals, work assignments, changes, and intentions.
- Respecting people lowers resistance. Show respect to the people who are doing the work if you want them to support change.
- Seeking feedback lowers resistance.
- Lower Productivity. Work slow downs.
- A record of seeking the highest good of others.
- Leaders who seek input and explore options before making decisions.
- A clear danger or obvious enemy.
- Frequent check ins and check ups. “What’s working?” “What would make the process better?”
What causes people to resist change?
How might leaders lower resistance to change?
Dan Rockwell the Founder and Owner of Leadership Freak, and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an Inc. Magazine Top Fifty Leadership and Management Expert and Top 100 Great Leadership Speakers. He was also a American Management Association Top 30 Leader in Business of 2014. According to the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, the Leadership Freak blog is often the most socially shared leadership blog on the Internet.
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