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Topic time estimate: 5 Minutes

Reasons

The 5 most common reasons for people to resist change according to Prosci’s research are:

  1. A lack of awareness of why the change is being made
  2. A lack of visible support and commitment from leadership
  3. The intensity of the impact on their current role
  4. The fear of losing their job
  5. The organisation’s past performance with change

The EXCELerate Resistance Management Plan allows you to choose from 14 root causes for resistance or to add your own findings.

Whilst conflict situations have the ability to act as a healthy stimulus for problem-solving and innovation, it can also result in unproductive stress and undesired consequences.

The benefits

team, work, building

Effective resistance management and conflict resolution:

  • Enforces more change management diligence
  • Leads to
    • Better outcomes
    • More creative problem-solving
    • More innovative ideas
  • Sense checks change initiatives to kill bad ideas
  • Improves risk estimates and mitigation
  • Increases engagement and job satisfaction
  • Fine-tunes change communication
  • Increases chances for sustainable change

As you practice resistance management and conflict resolution you will experience more change success over time.

The pitfalls and risks

On the other hand, unaddressed resistance and conflicts come with a cost.

They increase the risk of:

kids, games, pillow fight
  • Budget overrun
  • Project delays
  • Outcomes or objectives not achieved
  • Project abandoned
  • Productivity and quality declines
  • Absenteeism and decline in morale
  • Loss of valued employees
  • Unintended negative consequences
  • Inefficiencies
  • Legacy of failed change
  • Lack of sustainable change
  • Impact on customers or suppliers
  • Stress, confusion, change fatigue or saturation


Examples

It is very common for employees to get distracted from their work and involved in rumours and misinformation during change. Whilst this is symptomatic for inefficient change communication it can lead to a number of negative consequences that result in resources being drawn away from other tasks, milestones being missed and projects being delayed.

On the other hand, you might experience resistance from a highly impacted workgroup that is very skilled in the previous way of working. Whilst this can initially feel like a nuisance delaying important progress, you soon learn important insights from this group that will lead to a much better outcome for your reengineered processes.