Recently I read a quote that really resonated with me. The quote by Jack Canfield stated, “If you want something different, you are going to have to do something different.” As a change management professional, I’ve seen the full spectrum of reactions to change as businesses implement new procedures, systems, or overhaul their organizations. Change is an inevitable part of business and life, yet it can be difficult for some people to accept and embrace.
To stay competitive in today’s world, organizations must learn how to lead change effectively. It is essential for leaders to recognize resistance from employees – the success of a change initiative depends on the same people that are experiencing the change.
Some employees will not be comfortable with new processes or procedures and may resist the changes being implemented. “But, we’ve always done it this way!” is a common reaction to change. On the other hand, there are also employees who will be open and quickly amenable to change. Why do we see this difference in response? Well, simply put, because we’re human!
Each of us has a natural “primal” reaction when we encounter change – some of us react with an excited “bring it on” attitude and others react with caution and resistance. Although this initial reaction is instinctive – it’s not fixed. It can be influenced and changed. That’s where a Change Management professional can help.
It is crucial for executives to understand why employees may be resistant so they can address these issues before implementing any changes. People often resist change because they don’t understand why it’s necessary, they feel it’s out of their control, or they lack trust in their leadership. Understanding what motivates their resistance will help executives anticipate potential issues and develop strategies to address them.
It’s also important for sponsors of change initiatives to recognize that change takes time; it cannot be accomplished overnight. Setting realistic expectations about when changes will start taking effect, communicating regularly, and providing regular updates so everyone feels informed and supported throughout the process will go a long way toward ensuring your change initiative is a success.
With proper planning, commitment from all stakeholders involved and the right approach —and perhaps a few helpful strategies from a Change Management professional like me (hint, hint) —your organization can learn how to navigate the change process. If you’re considering a change initiative in your organization, reach out. I would love to partner with you!