Why does it seem to be an accepted norm that initiatives to improve [a company, a process, an organization, etc.] will always experience resistance to change?
As owners and/or employees of organizations, we have a vested interested in the continuous improvement and sustainable profitability of those organizations. Yet, when everyone should be motivated to bring unity and focus to productive change, naysayers seem to rise to the surface to distract and destroy. Rather than focus collective energy, individuals resist change because of:
- Human pride
- Desire to retain power over others
- Attempts at self justification
Seth Godin did a glancing blow on this topic as he addressed toxic employees and toxic bosses (those who have trouble working and playing well with others). In the simple eloquence that is Seth, he neatly described the "me first" attitude that can derail change. He also commented that great marketers have both humility and confidence. IMHO, I believe humility nurtures great confidence, and thus great leadership.
If you are leading a change, or even participating in a change activity, you must address the psychology of the individual stakeholders. As much as you may want to keep the conversation and topics on the business case for change, you must realize that you cannot remove emotion from the conversation. Very few times will change occur because a strong rational case has been presented. You must become a student of psychology. You must deal with the human factor. Understand individual motivations and develop strategies to engage the naysayers. Attract them to the change and make them part of the conversation.