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60 Thought Provoking Change Management Quotes

        posted by , April 01, 2013

A few thought provoking quotes related to change management including insight into resistance to change, change strategy, innovation and change processes.

Resistance to Change

It's common for change management practices to view resistance to change as an irrational barrier to progress.

Another school of thought is that resistance to change is a social process that can strengthen changes and help to eliminate undesirable change.

The following collection of quotes looks at both sides of the argument.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~Anatole France

Resistance at all cost is the most senseless act there is.
~Friedrich Durrenmatt

I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything.
~John Lennon

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
~Arnold Bennett

Change has its enemies.
~Robert Kennedy

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
~Harold Wilson

We cannot change anything until we accept it.
~Carl Jung

Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.
~Shunryu Suzuki

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
~Woodrow Wilson

In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.
~J. Paul Getty

Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.
~Alvin Toffler

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
~Sydney J. Harris

When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change... you will change.
~Robert Anthony

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
~Charles Kettering

If you feel like it's difficult to change, you will probably have a harder time succeeding.
~Andrea Jung

I shall not change my course because those who assume to be better than I desire it.
~Victoria Woodhull

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
~Thomas Jefferson

After an argument, silence may mean acceptance or the continuation of resistance by other means.
~Mason Cooley

The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.
~H. G. Wells

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.
~Carl Jung

I developed a resistance to authority. Not to discipline, I learned that. But to authority. I like to think for myself. And I like to cause trouble.
~Hal Holbrook

Paralyze resistance with persistence.
~Woody Hayes

We live in a moment of history where change is so sped up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.
~R. D. Laing

Change Acceptance

The difficult journey from change resistance to change acceptance.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.
~Nathaniel Branden

The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.
~Armistead Maupin

People want change but not too much change. Finding that balance is tricky for every politician.
~Eleanor Clift

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
~Steve Jobs

What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
~Jiddu Krishnamurti

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Change Management Strategy

Insight into strategies for change.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
~C. S. Lewis

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
~Ellen Glasgow

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

Change before you have to.
~Jack Welch

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.
~Georg C. Lichtenberg

For changes to be of any true value, they've got to be lasting and consistent.
~Tony Robbins

Change in all things is sweet.

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One must change one's tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one's superiority.
~Napoleon Bonaparte

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
~Timothy Leary

You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.
~Denis Waitley

True change takes place in the imagination.
~Thomas Moore

Change is such hard work.
~Billy Crystal

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
~John F. Kennedy

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.
~Albert Einstein

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
~Charles Darwin

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic
~Peter Drucker

Change Culture

The primary objective of change management to establish a culture that's accepting of change. A culture that innovates.

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
~Niccolo Machiavelli

In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.
~Benjamin Disraeli

If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organization.
~Mary Douglas

It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
~Henry David Thoreau

Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics - a rational ethics - as a precondition of rebirth.
~Ayn Rand

Change Process

The process of change.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
~Winston Churchill

You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.
~Amelia Earhart

Innovation & Change

Innovation management and change management are closely related. Innovative changes are often the most painful to achieve.

Time is the greatest innovator.
~Francis Bacon

The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.
~Rupert Murdoch

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
~William Pollard

Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.
~Steve Jobs

Change for Social Responsibility & Sustainability

There's no sense in driving change forward that destroys the future. Change management for corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.
~Lech Walesa

All I want to do is change the world.
~W. Clement Stone

Sustainability is a condition of existence which enables the present generation of humans and other species to enjoy social wellbeing, a vibrant economy, and a healthy environment, and to experience fulfillment, beauty and joy, without compromising the ability of future generations of humans and other species to enjoy the same.
~ Guy Dauncey

Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.
~Adlai E. Stevenson

If you can change three lives in 10, three lives in a hundred, that's got to be good, hasn't it?
~Ian Botham

There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn't spoil the sky, or the rain or the land.
~ Paul McCartney

The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

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