Step 5: Manage Resistance

Organizations are struggling to speed up. Scrambling to adapt. Trying to innovate, embrace new technologies and respond to a rapidly changing marketplace. But something’s not working. Word has it that over half of all major change initiatives prove to be disappointments or outright failures.

So what’s the problem? Precious resources are being squandered on organizational civil wars. People are fighting change instead of pushing it forward. They’re pulling in different directions rather than aligning with the change efforts. These are insiders. You’re paying full dollar for these people. Yet they represent one of the major threats to your organization’s future.

Employee resistance is the biggest barrier to change. Let’s face it—the very quickest way for the organization to pick up speed is for resisters to take their foot off the brakes. The best way for it to become more adaptive is for people to stop their desperate attempts to preserve the status quo.

The guidelines in this section show you how to free up the valuable energy that’s being wasted on resistance. Follow the coaching points given here, because you need the full support of everyone.

Tools and Articles:
Push Through The Yield Point

Opposition surfaces as soon as the integration process gets underway. Resistance starts to climb. You push to change the organization, and it starts pushing back. People gripe, whine and criticize, complaining about your objectives as well as the way in which you’re trying to reach them. Pretty soon the noise level begins to hurt your ears.

Under ordinary circumstances, negative reactions this strong mean you’re doing something wrong. In the merger scenario, though, they more likely...

Employee Resistance: The Biggest Barrier To Change

Organizations are struggling to speed up. Scrambling to adapt. Trying to innovate, embrace new technologies and respond to a rapidly changing marketplace.

But something’s not working.

Word has it that over half of all major change initiatives prove to be disappointments or outright failures.

So what's the problem? . . .

 

Think of Resistance To Change As Sort Of Like Body Temperature

You can expect a certain amount of resistance, at least from some people. Human nature is predictable enough for us to expect that certain employees will not readily embrace the changes.

The main key to managing resistance effectively is to actually invite it. Get it out into the open. Then, at least, you are in a position to analyze it and work toward overcoming it.

Sometimes you can reduce the resistance by giving subordinates a good understanding of the rationale for the...

How Much Resistance To Change Is Normal?

Push-back is predictable when a major organizational change program gets under way.

If you have a reliable frame of reference, you can put things into perspective. Knowing what’s “normal,” you’ll have a better feel for how you should react to the particular situation facing you. So let’s look at the typical scenario.

We’re dealing in generalities here, but the breakout usually goes about like this: 

Some 20 percent of the people are “change-friendly.”...

10 Steps On How To Manage Resistance To Change In M&A

Many merger/acquisition events are likely to be unpopular, at least with those groups of employees who are negatively affected. What people don’t like, they will probably resist. Management cannot keep everyone happy. But a number of things can be done to overcome some of the resistance and minimize that which remains.

1. EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR THE CHANGE

Usually the best steps in dealing with problems are the preventive ones.

Perhaps the most effective way to...

Makes No Sense But It Happens All The Time

Picture this: An organization asks people to change, then rewards them better if they stay the same.

Makes no sense whatsoever, but it happens all the time. Basically it comes down to this—people get paid to resist.

This is the absurd situation that develops when we ask people to change their behavior, but fail to make it worth their while. They usually decide to keep doing the same old things instead. And why not? It’s probably easier. Maybe it seems less risky. But...

Engineer Some Early Wins

Managing a merger is a big job. It’s hard enough with everybody pulling together, and when people are pulling in different directions the chances for success grow slim.

You simply cannot afford to second-guess your strategy continually, or to keep starting over with a new one. Neither can you make it work if people are pursuing their own private strategies.

Of course, some fine tuning and redirecting of your strategy is inevitable as the merger proceeds. You have to show some...

THIS IS A CLUTCH OF FOSSILIZED DINOSAUR EGGS
DISPLAYED IN AN OFFICE BUILDING IN DALLAS.

Some companies’ eggs hatched ages ago. And the powerful beasts are devouring productivity plus any chance for innovation.

Dinosaurs despise change. Sometimes they lurk inside a bloated bureaucracy, subtle as bacteria yet deadly enough to kill an organization’s ability to adapt. Other times they roam the company openly, seemingly benevolent, but still crippling its competitiveness....