Using Change Management to Overcome Resistance To Change

When making a change in your organization you will always encounter some sort of resistance. While there are endless reasons, it is important to start your evaluation process with a simple approach to accessing change. To do this imagine a large pyramid, which I call the resistance pyramid. The resistance pyramid has three layers – unaware, unable, and unwilling. Each layer represents the common types of resistance to change.

The base of the resistance pyramid is the largest layer, which represents the group of people who are unaware of the change you are planning to implement. Generally this group is looking for communication about what you are planning to accomplish with the intended changes. In many cases, improving your communication is the easiest way to overcome this group’s resistance to change.

The middle layer of the resistance pyramid represents the group of people who are unable to execute the change you are planning to implement. Typically this group is lacking the required skills or knowledge to perform their job as a result of the new changes. To overcome their resistance it is necessary to provide training and education so they can effectively perform their new responsibilities.

The top of the resistance pyramid, which is the smallest of the three layers, is the group of people who are unwilling to change. To overcome their resistance it is important to listen to them and determine if there are ways to address their concerns. Often this group will resist change no matter what you do. With this group you will be challenged as a leader to make a decision on how to proceed forward with the intended changes. In some cases you may have to move on without them.

Leveraging the resistance pyramid is a simple way to break down resistance to change. Often the large majority of resistance can be solved by improving your communication and providing adequate training and education. With this accomplished you will see your intended changes being executed with much less resistance.

Learn more with Acuity Institute’s Change Management Professional Certification Program

Making the Change Mindset Connection