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6 Steps to Overcoming Resistance to Change

There may be people who will resist change because it is different or new. Resistance to change is a common and universal malady. Therefore, understanding some of the barriers to change may help in creating and implementing successful growth strategies.

Some common barriers to change and innovation are:

  • Lack of data makes decision-making difficult
  • Personal goals conflict with professional goals
  • Management behavior discourages implementation
  • Employees don’t understand or really want to make the change
  • Poor communication of vision, values and mission
  • Recognition and appraisals are inconsistent with attaining goals
  • Unwillingness to develop new goals
  • Lack of process and structure

Addressing resistance to change becomes a major focus and an integral part of a unified implementation strategy.

To successfully implement change, several issues must be addressed:

First, the organizational vision must be compelling enough to generate the excitement needed to propel people through the chaos of change.

Second, your formal structures must support the behaviors you are looking to develop and extinguish the behaviors that no longer serve your organization.

Third, your behavior and the behavior of all management must match the words. Learning new skills and improving existing skills must be encouraged.

Fourth, employees must understand and really want to make the change.

Fifth, recognition and appraisals must be frequent, supportive and consistent with the vision and values of the organization.

Sixth, communication strategies and programs must be developed and implemented in all areas. Regular updates on progress and milestones reached must be provided.

~ Adapted with permission from Executive Leadership.