Managing Resistance to Change
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 85% of companies have undertaken a transformation during the past decade. The same research found nearly 75% of those transformations did not improve business performance in the short or long term.
Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project and author of The Way We’re Working Isn't Working, attributes this unimpressive success rate to a natural human tendency: the resistance to change. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, he says, “Transforming a business also depends on transforming individuals — beginning with the most senior leaders and influencers. Few of them have spent much time observing and understanding their own motivations, challenging their assumptions, or pushing beyond their intellectual and emotional comfort zones.” (Tweet it!)
In short, organizational transformation is likely to stall when people slip back into old behavioral patterns, despite their best intentions to start anew. To counter this mindset, Schwartz and his associates pose a series of provocative questions for leaders and their teams to ask themselves:
Sound strategy can spur transformation, Schwartz contends, but not without “continuously addressing the invisible reasons that people and cultures so often resist changing…”
Do you ever find yourself backsliding into old behaviors at work, despite a desire to change? How do you counter this tendency? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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