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Ways to overcome resistance to change

Change is an inevitable factor in any organization. The most effective leaders and managers know that managing change, adopting new technology, and implementing innovation are therefore integral components to running a successful organization.

Yet, as inevitable as change may be, it is just as inevitable that there will also be individuals within these organizations who reject any major changes or innovations to their workplace. What follows then, are some strategies which can be used to overcome this resistance to change.
  1. To get buy-in from unwilling employees, it will serve you well to begin by explaining to them the reasons behind the change. This step is important if you are to motivate any unwilling staff members.

  2. Secondly, try and involve a variety of employees in the planning, decision-making, and monitoring stages of the change strategy. By including members across the organizational hierarchy, you are: a) more likely to gain their support/buy-in; and b) less likely to surprise anyone.

  3. This relates to the last point about surprising people -- it is important that you communicate your change program (as much of it as is possible) on a regular and timely basis. No one likes to be surprised.

  4. Finally, find individuals throughout the organization who can serve as "champions" of your change program. These individuals carry influence among other staff members; their ability to convince others of the merits of the desired change strategies make them strong proponents of the program.
With globalization, the aging population/demographic shifts, and the emergence of new global markets, it will be plainly apparent that the organizations with the greatest ability to quickly adapt to change will be the ones that will reap the greatest rewards.

Surely, by adopting the four strategies outlined above, the leaders of these organizations will also see these benefits.


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