Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
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Our information exchange this week highlights the Harvard Business Review Article, “Choosing Strategies for Change,” by John P. Kotter and Leonard A. Schlesinger. This is the first of two installments on this topic.
Diagnosing and Dealing with Resistance
In today’s world, change is inevitable. Yet, organizational change can be a delicate process. The article in Harvard Business Review provides some insights into why people resist change, and how to deal with resistance to change.
Reasons for Resistance:
- Individuals think they will lose something of value as a result. In these cases, because people focus on their own best interests and not on those of the total organization, resistance often results in “politics” or “political behavior.”
- Individuals do not understand its implications and perceive that it might cost them much more than they will gain. Such situations often occur when trust is lacking between the person initiating the change and the employees.
- Individuals assess the situation differently from their managers or those initiating the change, and see more costs than benefits resulting from the change, for themselves and for the company.
- Individuals fear they will not be able to develop the new skills and behavior that will be required of them. All human beings are limited in their ability to change, with some people much more limited than others. Organizational change can inadvertently require people to change too much, too quickly.
- People want to save face; going along with the change may indicate an admission that some of their previous decisions or beliefs were wrong.
Loyalty Factor will cover how to deal with the resistance in the next installment of the Information Exchange.