Change Management Training Step 5: Manage Resistance

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 mean you’re doing things dead right.

Still, resistance gets your attention. And the stronger the reaction of the anti-change crowd, the more you’re inclined to question your goals or methodologies. Challenged by others, you begin to challenge yourself. Whispers of doubt start circulating in your head. Part of you says, “Don’t push so hard . . . Take it  easy . . . The organization has had all it can take—better back off, regroup, let things settle down a little.”

These are signals that you’re approaching a supercritical junction in the merger integration process. You’re coming up on what we call the . . .