Posts Tagged with 'change leadership'

Posted: June 9, 2014

Culture Change Leadership: Principles, Practices, Pitfalls and Traps

changeVolumes (quite literally) have been written on the subjects of change and transition. Here we hope to hit a few highlights, give you a couple of clues of what to be on the lookout for and how to anticipate and respond to some likely attitudes and behaviors. Additional conceptual grounding appears at the end of the blog entry on change and transition, resistance, and teams. Some of what follows may be useful in the early stage in the process of “planning for change” and other information may be most relevant as you actually try to implement what is being designed.

Be on the lookout for:

1. Resistance

People can resist change actively and passively.

Active resistance may be manifested by deliberate opposition, reduction in output, chronic quarrels, subtle hostility, “why this won’t work,” agitating others, not reporting problems, and denying problems.

Passive resistance may include withholding information, foot-dragging, no confrontation (but no productivity), not attacking solutions (but not supporting it either), “we’ve always done it this way,” overcomplicating the new way.

People resist because (any/all of what follows): They think they will lose something, they do not understand implications, they assess the situation differently from those initiating the change and perceive more cost than benefit, they fear they will not be able to develop new skills and behaviors that will be required, they have limited tolerance for change, to save face (“if the change is occurring, what we’ve been doing is devalued”), loss of control, discomfort of excess uncertainty.

For example: rumors, talking “behind people’s backs,” saying one thing in meetings and other things in private conversations, confusion about whom to include in/exclude from communications, and skepticism.

No matter how well “the case has been made” for the innovation some will experience a loss (of the way things have been done, self concept of being successful and knowing the ropes, etc.)

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