Resistance is futile, or how to reduce change resistance !

29 11 2007

Have you noticed the amount of articles, blog spots and journal inches talking about resistance to change. It seems many people think it’s an inevitable fact of implementation of change in any organization. Resistance is not a thing to overcome, the ignorance behind the attitude is the real issue. Resistance is a symptom of not understanding why something is happening, not an automatic reaction to change in itself. If leaders and change managers took more time and energy on explaining, involving and understanding why they are changing things, then resistance would not be such a big and misunderstood issue.

 Think about all the research done on human behaviour in regard to racism, and perceptions of outsiders. Most racist behaviour is the result of not knowing the other persons culture and point of view – a prejudice born out of ignorance. It’s really hard to hate someone who you live next to and know just because of their race, religion or culture – if you take time to understand it. I believe the same is true of change resistance. The key to reducing it, eliminating it, overcoming it, is to ensure that people are engaged in the why question. If managers of change programmes changed the balance of energy they use on process mapping and flow charting to more engagement and explanation then they would find less and less resistant behaviour.

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Leadership is not management by another name

3 08 2007

Welcome to the 21st century. Welcome to the era of leadership. Its time has finally come and without exception the talented people who embrace it will flourish in a business environment that demands leaders of exceptional ability and determination. Gone are the days where compliance and control was king, welcome to the exciting era of engagement.Leadership is not management; just as driving to work is not formula one racing. There is a difference in the level of talent required and the level of excitement and challenge it generates. Read on the brave – because it does take courage to take the position of leader – at least in our experience.

Whilst not everyone can be Michael Schumacher most people can become talented drivers in the race we know as business today. Let’s not forget, today speed is critical in business and the decisions made by leaders affect the results of the race. In today’s business climate taking the right decision, taking the team with you and ultimately delivering the results expected of you, is what being a leader is all about.Leadership is not management. It’s too important to be left to people who just want to control the costs and operations in the business. Leadership is the emerging competence that distinguishes rostrum performance from ‘also rans’. It’s not a desirable in business, its part of being in the game in the future and the quality of leadership will determine more so than any technology or service proposition the winners of tomorrow. If you want to know how leaders are different, do different things, enable different levels of performance then keep coming back to this blog and for a more in depth view, get the book. 

Coming this month on the blog is a series of pieces on what makes leaders different. Not just the ideas about why they are different, but also some means to helping your leaders, or for that matter, yourself be different .  Organizational man today deserves to be led not managed more – we aim to be part of that process. Until next time ….