Leading Transformation by Easing Resistance to Change
Whether the change at hand is large or small, or whether it's personal, about your team, or system wide, the fundamentals of doing it well or doing it badly are the same. Making and leading change gracefully will help you achieve the results you want. Making and leading change badly will usually result in failure.
Fact: Most change efforts fail at least 50% and as much as 70% of the time
Fact: Top-down change efforts fail even more often
Fact: The main reason for this sad story is the failure to engage the right people at the right time while doing the right things the right way
Change, even positive change, is often met with resistance when it is thrust upon people by the actions and decisions of others. Yet change is inevitable and constant. There is simply no escaping it. So the real question is how we adapt, and when we are leaders, how we help others navigate changes happening to them.
First, let's consider the top ten reasons why people resist change, in only slightly descending order of importance:
10. It caught me by surprise
9. I don't like leaving my "comfort zone"
8. I don't understand the need for change
7. I understand the need, but I disagree with YOUR solution
6. I don't understand "what's in it for me"
5. I don't believe it will happen anyway
4. I lack confidence and/or trust in the change leaders
3. I fear failure
2. I fear loss
1. I have no VOICE in the change that is affecting me
When change actually arrives, there are five very common and normal human responses that you can learn to manage for yourself and when leading others. All of us have experienced these five responses at one time or another, sometimes in the space of a few minutes! It is important to acknowledge them, feel them, deal with them, and then move beyond them so that they don't debilitate you or others.