Virtually every text on organizational change has as a central tenet the idea of "resistance to change." The basic premise is that individuals have a predisposition to resist change and it is the work of leaders and change agents to achieve change by overcoming this resistance. Unfortunately, this concept of resistance to change has itself become a major obstacle to organizational transformation.
Kurt Lewin, the social psychology pioneer, first developed the concept of resistance to change. For Lewin, however, resistance was not specific to individuals. It was a broader, systemic phenomenon. Resistance to change could result from anything that impeded the change, including misaligned work processes, organizational structure, or rewards. Since Lewin first proposed the idea of resistance, it has been pared down to refer specifically to individuals' psychological state.
In many ways, "resistance to change" has become an excuse to ignore employees' concerns. If I can label your response as 'resistance,' then I can disregard it. The problem is not with the change I am proposing but with those who disagree with it.
This mindset is terribly unfortunate for three reasons:
Changing how people work requires an understanding of the art and science of business. Forget left-brain/right brain... We think Whole Brain. Explore our insights.
Visit our other blogs:
Leadership Crescendo - Reflections and thoughts on leadership learned after thirty years of thinking about, experiencing, teaching and coaching executives for leadership effectiveness, written by Kaveh Naficy