Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dragging Heels

I'm stubborn enough to stick with my view on why people resist change! I refuse to change my view why others don't behave differently!

People will go kicking, screaming and dragging their heels from a known position to an unknown position. The only way they'll go is when they're forced to go. The reasons are simple:

  • The change is unexpected
  • The change doesn't address their emotional and relational needs; in fact, the change probably threatens satisfaction of those needs.
Most people embrace change. They adapt to changes in weather. Oh, they might grumble but they go along with it and put on a coat when it's cold. It's the rare person that refuses to put on a coat throughout the winter. People get used to new songs being played on the radio or a different news story being presented. Most don't turn off their mp3 player or switch off the radio when a change occurs. Those changes are expected. Likewise, in businesses, if the organization knows that improvements will be made when it's discovered something isn't working, they expect and may even suggest new efforts.

However, it can't be just change for change's sake or it becomes "fad of the month" without any credibility that the change is worthwhile and a real solution to the problem, or has a chance to capture the opportunity ahead.

If the change threatens a need for security, acceptance, or correctness (the main needs of those who are avoid risks), they will resist change. It will threaten their relationship with others and a sense of belonging with the organization. It might even threaten their identity within the organization. "I'm a strong contributor to this program and now you're getting rid of it!?" says a person who will fight your efforts to alter the customer experience.

Therefore, if you want your team to embrace change, do enough of it so that adaptability is developed. Also, make sure individuals' emotional and relational (e.g. identity, etc.) are met. Neither of these are done overnight, but they are important if you want to keep up with the rest of the world.

Time for a change...go read another blog!

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