'Antichange' Code: How to Recognize Employee Resistance to Change

September 7, 2014

When we talk about resistance to change, it's easy to say, "Organizations don't change, people do, or don't".  While true, change will only occur when change cascades down throughout every level of the organization.  

We need to view organizational change simultaneously at two levels, macro and micro, in order to diagnose where the entire organization is on the change trajectory.  It's easy to see change at the macro level.  It is normally displayed by senior-level leadership speaking in broad, strategic terms, focusing on positive impact of the change.  It is, however, equally as important to focus change efforts at THE most granular level in the organization - each person.  As managers, your job is to listen to how each employee is articulating, or not articulating, their issues around change.  

We know there are four change levels.  These levels closely parallel Maslow's Needs Hierarchy.  The change trajectory describes these stages of change acceptance as:  denial;  resistance;  exploration; commitment.  As your people go through these stages, how do you, as managers, recognize which stage each employee is in at any given time?  

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[Case Study] What Needs to Change in Response to Strategic Change?
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