Organisation & Transformation in the Digital Age
18 Feb 2014 830 hits

How to overcome resistance to change...

We resist, and yet.... we change. How to overcome change resistance.

Despite our best efforts, we do not change easily, and we fiercely resist forces that would drive us out of our comfort zone.

Yet change is necessary if not unavoidable, for the only thing that does not change... is the permanence of change. So, how should we address the problems raised by change management? Are we to consider it is just another issue of traditionnal management, or is it a domain of its own? Is there a way to specifically work around change management issues?

I believe change is about acceptance. And working on somebody's acceptance of an idea, a project is delicate. It does not involve traditional calculations such as cost/benefit, but a more complex set of interrelations between what is to be achieved through change, the expected benefits, but also how to do it, and the cost of opportunity. I often base my analysis on a simple yet powerful formula: the Formula for Change which was created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher.

[...]Three factors must be present for meaningful organizational change to take place. These factors are:

D = Dissatisfaction with how things are now;
V = Vision of what is possible;
F = First, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision;

If the product of these three factors is greater than
R = Resistance

then change is possible. Because D, V, and F are multiplied, if any one is absent or low, then the product will be low and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance.[...].

In the original formula, the cost of change was also taken into consideration, but its complexity prevented it from being used as a management tool, like this version does.

There are many other ways to address change management issues. This one has the merit of simplicity and allows managers to determine where to reinforce their communications strategy in a nutshell.

Have you analyzed your points of improvement for change management? Do you know where your resistance will come from?

Marciano Alves


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