Overcoming Resistance To Change

By Julie Goh (6 Dec 2022)

“In an earlier article “CHANGE IN THE MODERN BUSINESS WORLD”, I have written about the importance of change. To help those who are new or unclear about the subject, this article is especially for you.”

So often we hear the word “change” when it comes to business management. Everyone seems to be talking about how important it is for organisations to implement change for various reasons. But what exactly is this change and how would an organisation go about doing it?

A Google search on the definition of change in business management will yield various interpretations. Some see it as a project or initiative for improvement. Some define it as an organisational restructuring to transform part of its operations. Some says that it is making improvements to the working methods, and so many other interpretations.

But what is common in all the interpretations is that change is necessary in order for a business to stay competitive and relevant.

Innovation Is Not About Invention, It Is About Adaptation

To implement change, there is a need to be innovative. To be innovative does not mean you have to invent something new, something extraordinary. It just means you are able to anticipate what is needed for the business.

You are able to anticipate this because you know the shortfalls in your system, you have looked at the data, you have observed the market and what your competitors are doing. You know what is lacking and badly needs improvement in your organisation.

In other words, being innovative is about adapting. Adapting to the demands of the market, adapting to the demands of the business operations.

Resistance to Change

While change is necessary for the business, implementing change itself, is a challenge.

Many people fear and resist change. People fear change because they are afraid they might lose control over their role. They are afraid change could render them less powerful in the organisation. They are afraid the change could reveal them as imposters, that they not as capable as once perceived. They are afraid that they will become irrelevant. They are afraid they might lose their status in the hierarchy.

When the voice of resistance is too loud, management might just give up because it takes too much effort to convince these naysayers, especially when they are key personnel in the organisation. Imagine the work required to convince them to lead their team to change.

But when this happens, who loses in the end? It is the company… and ultimately, so will the employees. When a business do not prosper, what future can it offer to its employees?

When it comes to implementing change, the most difficult part is not the process or the training. It is almost always, the fear of change by key personnel in the organisation.

So, how do we convince these people to accept change? Remember - change is about the company adapting to needs, not the individual. That is your key to push for change.

The author is an award-winning HR Sifu with Kakitangan.com, who has made significant improvements in how HR operates in multiple retail and high-volume/fast-paced companies. Complimentary consultation sessions with HR Sifu are available for all paying Kakitangan.com customers.

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