Shepherding any change program has its own challenges. For many managers today, change is a part of life and they are frequently tasked to bring about change in their operations. These changes are aimed to improve – amongst other things- profitability, productivity, quality and customer satisfaction.

An important aspect of change management is the people aspect. What I would call the People Side of Change. Before we plan to implement a change program, it’s a good idea to prepare ourselves for a certain amount of resistance because this is inevitable.

But why do people resist change? They resist change because:-

  • They are comfortable with status quo. They would not like to move out of their comfort zone.
  • They don’t understand why the change is necessary. Often changes are planned for longer term gains which may not appeal to the people concerned.
  • They may feel that the change won’t work. All of us like to believe the way we do things is the best way. We tend to be cynical of any change for this reason
  • They feel the old established way is better. They are comfortable with it and don’t see the advantages of any change. For them “past practice”  and “This is the way we have always done things” are their main themes.
  • They fear they may fail. Change often translates into new methods of working, the need to re-learn and the need to refresh our skills. This threat makes them afraid of change.
  • There is a cost of change. It involves psychological discomfort, fear of the unknown and fear of failure. They have to be convinced that the benefits of the change make up for the costs of change.

However, change is part of our lives. The sooner we learn to cope with and manage change, the better it is for ourselves, our teams at work and our families at home.

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This is Post No: 174 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success