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How Organizations Resist Change

        posted by , May 07, 2013

Resistance to change is like an iceberg, only a small fraction is visible. It's the part below the surface that's most disruptive.

Leading change should be easy if you have authority. Just order the change and it will be done.

The challenge comes as a little thing called resistance to change.

If your organization resists your strategy and plans — change management is your best friend.

Resistance to change can represent a significant obstacle. These methods of resisting organizational change only scratch the surface:

1. Open Resistance

People in your organization openly refuse to support the change. Resistance may organize and use sophisticated marketing techniques. A leadership challenge may occur.

2. Political Power

Pulling political strings to halt the change.

3. Talent Power

Talent who know that they're valuable to the organization openly refuse to go along with the change. If the organization makes an exception to allow talent to openly disregard the change, the change may lose momentum.

4. Political Mayhem

Triggering political battles designed to throw the change off course.

5. Denial

Pretending the change isn't real. Denial can create inertia that makes it difficult to gain momentum for change.

6. Low Engagement

Your employees become disengaged and productivity drops like a rock. People start leaving your firm.

7. Required to Fail

Stakeholders develop requirements or make decisions that are calculated to make the change fail.

8. Planned to Fail

Planners develop impossible plans (e.g. an overly aggressive schedule).

9. Designed to Fail

Designers develop improbable designs that are certain to fail.

10. Quality

Low quality work products impede the change.

11. Risk

Risks are taken that are designed to derail the change.

Next: What is Organizational Change Management?

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