‘He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.’ Harold Wilson
When change happens, the usual response from human nature is resistance.
Why does that happen? It could be down to any number of reasons, from fear of the unknown to a mindset of ‘this is how we have always done it’.
Below are three areas of resistance to change that we have encountered when delivering effective projects and change in organisations, and some insight into how we have responded and approached the situation:
Delivering effective change and successful projects impacts and involves people. The impact on people can be through process, technology, office location or role change. You can implement efficient processes and cutting-edge technology, and redefine your products and services, but if your people aren’t with you on the journey then you are wasting your time. When change is in the atmosphere responses such as fear, resistance, doubt and trust issues can, and usually will, surface from people. Focus on involving people whilst delivering change. Ask for input, get ideas, get them excited and get them involved in delivering the change themselves.
Avoid fear of the unknown by making things known. Communicate and communicate well. Use the right tools and, more importantly, communicate the right message. Regular communication is key to breaking down the resistance to change; people react positively when they are aware of what is happening and why it is happening.
The culture of an organisation influences the success of change. Creating a culture that operates in an inclusive manner with its people and that communicates regularly, openly and well is a fantastic culture to aim for. It is not an easy journey and it doesn’t happen overnight but the benefits are significant.