Why Do People In Business Resist Change?

Using yesterday’s logic to fight tomorrow’s challenges is the frightening norm for too many of today’s organizations.

The only thing that’s certain in life is that things change – change is a constant in all areas of life. The weather changes, relationships change, the economy changes, team dynamics change, business environments change. Change really is the one thing we can be sure of.People resisting change

So, why do so many people resist change, especially people in business? Resisting change prevents us from benefiting from all life has to offer; so change is something we should learn to embrace, especially if we’re looking for success.

“Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.”

— Mark Sanborn

Change or die

For people in business, change really is essential to success. In the current economic situation, the businesses that weather the storms will be the ones that are flexible and are willing to bend and adapt in order to stay in business. In other words, the businesses that embrace change and welcome the positive benefits that it brings. These are the businesses that will survive the harsh credit crunch crisis that is being faced by businesses world-wide.

It may not be broke, but fix it anyway

Almost every day we hear of companies going out of business due to the economic climate – these are the organisations that carry on operating as they always have. These companies have neglected to adapt; turned their backs on progress and operate with a mentality of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Companies that are willing to plod along without upsetting the apple-cart – they’ve enjoyed a modicum of success and think that they need to carry on doing what they’ve always done in order to survive.

This is a dangerous attitude for any business – the world is changing faster than ever before, with new opportunities appearing all the time for those who have the foresight and the courage to grab those opportunities and make the changes necessary to implement progress.

Blame it on your comfort zone

One reason for avoiding change is that we become comfortable in our current situation and we’re reluctant to risk the security that comfort offers us. Another reason is that we tend to concentrate on the negative outcomes that change may bring – an assumption that is based on our natural fear of the unknown.

Fear is a pretty powerful emotion – fear of losing power, status, control, money, work, fear of going out of business – it’s quite easy to understand why people may be averse to change, especially with so many possible negative outcomes. One major shift we can make to address this fear is to adopt a more positive outlook.

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have — and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” — James Belasco and Ralph Stayer

Think positive – think results

It’s much easier to open ourselves up to change if we can have a positive attitude towards it. And, if we think realistically about change, we see that progress is never accomplished without it.

Change can bring improvement – bigger, better, faster, more. Positive progress always involves change – if we can keep this first and foremost in our thoughts, then we should be able to welcome change and the positive outcomes that can result.

According to BNET Business Dictionary, Change Management is ‘the coordination of a structured period of transition from situation A to situation B in order to achieve lasting change within an organization’. This requires an understanding of the organisational and psychological dynamics in the workplace in order to lead change through the five phases:

  1. Initial Decision Making
  2. Team Establishment and Planning
  3. Creating the Deliverables
  4. Implementation
  5. Review and Improvement

There are several Change Management Models that describe the process but how you effect the change is as important as the model you choose to guide you through the process.

Preparation – the key to leading successful change

If you are planning to lead change in your organisation then you will want to do so successfully.  You’ll need to call on particular skills and abilities in order to make the change work for your business so you’ll want to make sure that you’re sufficiently equipped to do the job to the best of your ability.

At Project Laneways we specialise in training business professionals in the skills they need to ensure success.  Our Foundation and Practitioner Courses in Change Management will equip you with the skills and tools you need to lead change in your organisation to a successful outcome.

If understanding Change Management is a skill-set you’d like to add to your project management qualifications arsenal, check out our Change Management course details here, or call us on Melbourne 03 9038 9236

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