Swimming Upstream Part 1: When People Resist Organizational Change
The Information Imperative
What causes people to have issues with change? After all, organizations don’t (or shouldn’t) change just for change sake. In many cases, the change is necessary in order for the business to succeed and those people that are overseeing the change process have the best interests of the organization at heart. Sound thinking, good logic, and a realistic scan of the environment all go into an organization’s determination of what changes to make. Knowing this, you might ask, why would anyone resist?
Often times the leaders of the organization, the people who are coming up with the strategies and rationale for change, have a clear idea of why the organization can’t stay where it is. They know why things have to change, but the problem is everyone else in the organization might not necessarily know this information.
If employees don’t have the data and don’t know what is driving the immediate need for change, they cannot share the sense of urgency to change from the current state.
Employees need to be convinced to leave the current state, embrace a new way of doing things, and have confidence that they can make a difference. When these needs are not fulfilled, personal resistance will likely fill the void.
The targets of change crave information. They need to know why, they need to know what, and they need to know how; not just from an organizational perspective but also from their own, personal perceptive. Change initiatives succeed when each individual in the organization decides to change, both individually and as a team.
Hindsight is 20/20. Think back to a time when you resisted a change, either personally or professionally. What made it difficult for you to accept and adapt to the change?