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RESISTANCE
MOVING BEYOND THE BARRIERS TO CHANGE
A Digital Handbook For People Who Make Things Happen
Price Pritchett, Ph.D.
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INTRODUCTION

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 sixteen guidelines in this book 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.

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Chapter 1—

EXPECT Resistance.

Resistance is the most common side effect of change. If you don't encounter it, you have to wonder if you’ve really changed things much.

Here’s how it works.

Change triggers the organization's immune system. People start to resist, trying to fight off the change. It's sort of like antibodies attack­ing some organism that invades a person's body. This just seems to be the natural order of things. Upset the status quo, and here comes the opposition.

Look at it this way, and you see how resistance can be a valuable protective device. For example, strong resistance to change might cause a company to ditch some dangerous new plan or project, just like your body's white blood cells fight off an infection. Resistance can defend the health of organizations as well as individuals.

But resistance also causes problems.

Sometimes even Mother Nature screws up and misdiagnoses a situation. Or tries to defend your body in ways that actually cause trouble. This happens, for example, when the excessive release of histamines causes a person to suffer from hay fever. In much the same way, an organization's "body chemistry" can go crazy, such that people do serious damage by resisting changes that are desperately needed.

The main point here is that resistance merely offers evidence that people feel the change. Even if they put up a powerful fight against it, that in itself offers zero proof that the change is wrong. Resistance is a very reliable barometer to measure the impact of change. But it's not a good gauge of how appropriate the change really is. You can't say change is bad medicine just because some people don't like the taste of it.

You should initiate change with the idea that, more than likely, it will stir up resistance somewhere. Anticipate this, and you're better positioned to handle it.

“Twenty percent of the people will be against anything.”

—Robert Kennedy

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End of sample.

This is a sample. Click here to purchase the digital book.

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