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How to identify and manage resistance to change


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Our Change Management™ lead trainer, Andy West, talked through how to identify and manage resistance to change in your organisation.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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How to identify and manage resistance to change

  1. 1. Change Management Identifying and managing resistance to change Andy West Webinar
  2. 2. Housekeeping note Q & A R E S O U R C E S FOLLOW US F E E D B A C K
  3. 3. Introduction Andy West An experienced and professional Project & Change Management Skills Trainer with experience across a range of market sectors. Involved in a number of projects covering the design and implementation of business systems and training solutions within a number of organisations.
  4. 4. Purpose of this webinar • To consider how change is achieved and why sometimes it isn’t • To identify the common symptoms of resistance and its causes, and to suggest some practical actions to deal with resistance
  5. 5. Change? • Change “to make the form, nature, content, future c ourse, etc. of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to” • “the altering of an entity” • Change or Transformation?
  6. 6. Projects enable change Projects: “the most effective way of delivering change” • Projects deliver a capability • Change happens when that capability is adopted
  7. 7. Projects and change Change happens when: Capability + Ability + Willingness
  8. 8. How people react to change Denial Anger or blame Depression & confusion Acceptance Bargaining And self-blame Shock 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Problem-solving MORALE,ENERGY&PERFORMANCE T I M E Kübler-Ross Curve (1969)
  9. 9. How to group the reactions Understanding of the change THE STRUGGLERS THE LEARNERS THE OVER-WHELMED THE SURVIVORS HIGHLOW HIGH Capacity for change Palsule, 1997
  10. 10. The Beckhard and Harris Change Formula C = change A = level of dissatisfaction with the status quo B = desirability of the proposed change or end state D = practicality of the change (knowledge of the next practical steps, minimal risk and disruption) X = perceived ‘cost’ of the change C=[ABD]>X
  11. 11. Kanter’s common causes of resistance (1) REASON FOR RESISTANCE CAUSE Loss of control over territory Level of dissatisfaction – Beckhard & Harris Perceived ‘cost’ of the change – Beckhard & Harris Self blame – Kubler-Ross Excessive uncertainty during the change Capacity for change – Palsule Practicality of the change – Beckhard & Harris Change is sprung on people as a surprise Shock – Kübler-Ross Too many differences at once Capacity for change – Palsule Self blame – Kubler-Ross Practicality of the change – Beckhard & Harris Loss of face from those associated with current state Level of dissatisfaction – Beckhard & Harris Perceived ‘cost’ of the change – Beckhard & Harris
  12. 12. Kanter’s Common causes of resistance (2) REASON FOR RESISTANCE CAUSES Concerns about competence Self blame – Kübler-Ross Desirability of the change – Beckhard & Harris Change is more work Capacity for change – Palsule Practicality of the change – Beckhard & Harris Ripple effects – change interferes with the activities of other areas Practicality of the change – Beckhard & Harris Capacity for change – Palsule Past resentments surface due to the interruption of a steady state Anger/ blame – Kübler-Ross Desirability of the change – Beckhard & Harris Sometimes the threat is real – change is resisted because it can hurt Anger/ blame – Kübler-Ross Self blame – Kubler-Ross Desirability of the change – Beckhard & Harris
  13. 13. Types of resistance and symptoms PA S S I V E A C T I V E AUDIBLE UNHAPPINESS • No feedback • Sullen silence • The “Slaughtered Lamb” Moment • Complaints • Objections DISENGAGEMENT “Vanish like the mist” Reject invites SABOTAGE • Not booking training • Not returning emails • Not providing information • Issues • “Breaking” • “Not fit for purpose”
  14. 14. Kanter’s resistance management strategies • Leave room for those affected by change to make choices • Create a sense of safety with certainty of process • Don’t plan changes in secret • Minimise the number of unrelated differences • Where possible, keep things familiar • Avoid change for change’s sake • Celebrate the elements of the past that are worth honouring • Consider gestures to heal the past before focusing on the future
  15. 15. Kanter’s resistance management strategies • Provide abundant information, education, mentors and support systems • Run systems in parallel during transition if possible • Allow some people to focus exclusively on the change • Reward and recognise participants • Enlarge circle of stakeholders • Consider all affected parties and work with them to minimise disruption • Be honest, transparent, fast and fair
  16. 16. Building a strategy to manage resistance TWO CONSIDERATIONS: Analyse the following four situational factors: 1. The amount and kind of resistance that is anticipated 2. How powerful the initiator of the change is in relation to the resisters 3. Who the people are who have the relevant data to design the change and the energy to implement it 4. How great the risks are to organisational performance and survival if the change isn’t made Determine the optimal speed of change: the above analysis will help to decide how quickly or slowly the change should proceed. CAUTION: a slower pace will give time to reduce resistance but if the current risk to organisational performance and survival is very great, it will be necessary to implement the change more quickly which will involve less buy in and focus on ‘forcing’ the change through.
  17. 17. Rogers’ innovation adoption model 2.5% 13.5% 34% 34% 16% Quickest to adapt (after Rogers, 1962) Slowest to adapt Early majority Late majority Early adopters LaggardsInnovators Some stakeholders are best engaged by others
  18. 18. Supporting managers and supervisors • Managers and supervisors play a crucial role in successful change • They translate policy into action • They can really influence the change • Potential tensions between implementing change, dealing with resistance and maintaining performance • Support them by:  Communicating as much as you can  Helping them to answer questions about the change (e.g. FAQs)
  19. 19. Building and sustaining momentum • Build momentum through:  Regular communications  Engagement with stakeholders  An active change management network • If the change has a long lead time for implementation, don’t try to build momentum too early • Four key strategies:  Timing of communications  Phased approach to communications  Keep visibility of the change high  Task managers with the responsibility for delivery
  20. 20. A final thought • Change is not easy or comfortable for everyone • There will be resistance, both active and passive • Identify resistance early, understand the resistance and deal with it appropriately
  21. 21. Exclusive webinar offer Book your course by visiting our website and using the code CHANGEWEB19 giving us a call on +44 (0) 1270 611 600 or send an email to Change Management 20% off Foundation e-learning 15% off our upcoming classroom courses on: 29 April, Manchester 13 May, Bristol 3 June, London
  22. 22. Are there any questions?
  23. 23. Thank you for listening ILX GROUP 7th Floor, 95 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4JF Phone: +44 20 7371 4444