Why Resistance to Change is a Big Problemposted by Anna Mar, April 02, 2013
Resistance to change isn't a single business problem — it's 3 distinct business problems.
All 3 rank amongst the most critical strategic problems that businesses face. All three are commonly referred to as "resistance to change". However, they have different causes and different solutions. It's helpful to break them out for what they really are:
1. Resistance to Reality
He who rejects change is the architect of decay.Resistance to Reality occurs when your strategy ignores external realities that you have little control over.
~ Harold Wilson
Examples of external factors that commonly change include business models, competition, technology, best practices, standards, customer preferences, compliance rules, ethics, language, fashion and aesthetics.
Ideally, business strategy should lead market change or at least move in the same general direction.
Resistance to reality is resistance to change at the strategic level. When your industry changes, you need to innovate. It's generally not possible to rollback external change.
2. Resistance to Organizational Change
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Resistance to organization change occurs when executive management sets strategic direction that's resisted by their organization.
It's common for organizations to resist large changes. The culture of your organization makes a big difference — some organizations are more accepting of change than others.
Organizations can reduce resistance to change with change management practices that focus on communication and socialization of change.
3. Systemic Resistance to Change
The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.Systemic resistance to change occurs when a large system of many firms (such as the global economy) is unable to change in response to a threat to the system.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Systemic resistance to change is a hard problem.
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