“The most important fact that you need to know about resistance to change is that it’s normal.”
“The second most important fact is that you can prevent a whole lot of resistance by making significant efforts to explain why a change is necessary.”
Such is the conventional wisdom we all hear.
What I can tell you from studying this for over two decades is that, mostly (with some major exceptions), resistance to change comes down to one thing: Ignoring the Golden Rule. Specifically, failure to work backwards from the workforce’s perspective…AKA: Failure to be user-centered.
Most any change that is user-centered not only doesn’t meet with resistance, it often goes viral! iPods, iPads, etc: User-centered. Zappos’s culture: Employee and customer centered. Google: User-centered. The list of things that quickly overcome resistance to change and get embraced, wildly, is long. And the one thing everything on that list has this in common: being user-centered.
Most change is resisted because it’s corporate-centered and then repackaged to try to make employees care. That’s why we get resistance to change!
Work backwards from the needs of the people who need to implement the change and change gets embraced! Don’t, and it won’t. It’s that simple.
Note: Author has academic degree in this change management stuff. So, until he woke up, he was selling this “resistance to change” snake oil.