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  • Writer's pictureWylde International

Views from WYLDE International Experts on different forms of resistance when implementing change

Updated: Sep 4, 2023




Introduction

Change is inevitable and necessary for any organization that wants to grow and succeed in a competitive and dynamic environment. However, change is also challenging and often met with resistance from various stakeholders within and outside the organization. Resistance to change can take different forms which undermine an organization's ability to reach its full potential and even scale.


How can business owners and entrepreneurs overcome resistance to change in their organizations and implement their strategies effectively? To answer this question, we have invited two experts from WYLDE International, a leading strategy and entrepreneurship support firm that equips and empowers entrepreneurs and their support institutions to succeed. The two experts are Faustina Ningá and Loise Macharia. Faustina is the Medium Sized-Business Lead Consultant at WYLDE International. Loise is the Scalerizer Lead Consultant at WYLDE International.


In this article, we will present 5 questions that we have asked Faustina and Loise about the different forms of resistance to change in organizations. We will also share their views and insights based on their expertise and experience. We hope that this article will help you understand the causes and consequences of resistance to change in your organization, as well as provide you with some practical tips and tools to overcome it.


Question 1: What is resistance to change and why does it occur in organizations?


Faustina: Resistance to change is the reluctance or opposition of people to adapt to change. It is expressed in various ways, such as ignoring communications, expressing negative emotions, reducing productivity or quality, creating conflicts or excuses, or sabotaging the change efforts. Resistance to change occurs in organizations because people are comfortable with the status quo and fear losing something valuable or facing something unknown as a result of change. People may also resist change because they do not understand or agree with the need or purpose of change, they do not trust or respect the change agents or leaders, they perceive a threat to their power or status, they lack the skills or resources to cope with change, or they have experienced previous failures or disappointments with change initiatives.


Question 2: What are some common forms of resistance to change that you encounter in your work with organizations?


Loise: Some common forms of resistance to change that we encounter in our work with organizations are:

  • Lack of buy-in: This is when people do not support or commit to the change because they do not see how it benefits them or aligns with their values or goals. They may feel excluded from the decision-making process or feel that their opinions or concerns are not heard or addressed.

  • Lack of urgency: This is when people do not feel the need or pressure to change because they do not perceive the current situation as problematic or the future situation as desirable. They may be satisfied with the status quo or believe that change is not feasible or necessary.

  • Uncertainty: This is when people are unsure or anxious about the change because they do not have enough information or clarity about what the change entails, how it will affect them, and what they are expected to do. They may also have doubts or questions about the viability or effectiveness of the change.

  • Communication challenges: This is when people are confused or misinformed about the change because they do not receive consistent, timely, or accurate communication from the change agents or leaders. They may also receive conflicting or contradictory messages from different sources or channels.


Question 3: What are the consequences of resistance to change for organizations and their stakeholders?


Faustina: Resistance to change has negative consequences for an organization and its stakeholders, such as:

  • Reduced performance and productivity: Resistance to change lowers the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s processes and operations. It also causes delays, errors, rework, or waste of resources.

  • Decreased competitiveness and profitability: Resistance to change hinders the organization’s ability to adapt to the changing market needs and opportunities. It also prevents the organization from achieving its strategic goals and objectives.

  • Increased turnover and absenteeism: Resistance to change affects the motivation and morale of the employees and managers. It also causes dissatisfaction, frustration, stress, or burnout. This leads to higher rates of turnover and absenteeism, which results in loss of talent, knowledge, and skills.

  • Damaged reputation and relationships: Resistance to change harms the organization’s image and reputation among its customers, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders. It also causes conflicts, mistrust, or resentment among the internal and external stakeholders.


Question 4: How can business owners and entrepreneurs identify and diagnose resistance to change in their organizations?


Answer by Loise: Business owners and entrepreneurs can identify and diagnose resistance to change in their organizations by using various methods and tools, such as:

  • Surveys and feedback: Business owners and entrepreneurs can use surveys and feedback mechanisms to collect data and opinions from their employees, managers, customers, and other stakeholders about the change initiative. They can use quantitative or qualitative methods, such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, or suggestion boxes. They can also use online platforms or tools, such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

  • Observation and analysis: Business owners and entrepreneurs can use observation and analysis techniques to monitor and evaluate the behavior and performance of their employees, managers, processes, and systems before, during, and after the change initiative. They can use indicators or metrics, such as productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, or turnover.

  • Communication and dialogue: Business owners and entrepreneurs can use communication and dialogue methods to engage with their employees, managers, customers, and other stakeholders about the change initiative. They can use formal or informal channels, such as meetings, newsletters, emails, or social media. They can also use techniques or skills, such as active listening, empathy, or storytelling.


Question 5: What are some best practices or tips for business owners and entrepreneurs to overcome resistance to change in their organizations?


Answer by Faustina: Some best practices or tips for business owners and entrepreneurs to overcome resistance to change in their organizations are:

  • Create a clear vision and strategy for the change: Business owners and entrepreneurs should create a clear vision and strategy for the change that articulates the need, purpose, benefits, goals, objectives, scope, timeline, roles, responsibilities, and resources of the change initiative. They should also align the vision and strategy with the organization’s mission, vision, values, culture, and capabilities.

  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders: Business owners and entrepreneurs should communicate effectively with all stakeholders about the change initiative using various methods and tools. They should communicate frequently, consistently, transparently, honestly, respectfully, persuasively, and positively. They should also communicate the vision and strategy for the change as well as the progress and results of the change initiative.

  • Involve and empower people in the change process: Business owners and entrepreneurs should involve and empower people in the change process by soliciting their input, feedback, suggestions, ideas, or concerns. They should also delegate authority, responsibility, or ownership to them. They should also provide them with training, coaching, mentoring, or support to help them develop the skills, knowledge, or resources they need to cope with change.

  • Recognize and reward people for their contributions and achievements: Business owners and entrepreneurs should recognize and reward people for their contributions and achievements in the change process. They should also celebrate the milestones and successes of the change initiative. They should also provide them with recognition, appreciation, praise, or incentives to motivate them and boost their morale.


Conclusion


In this article, we have presented 5 questions that we have asked Faustina Ningá and Loise Macharia from WYLDE International about the different forms of resistance to change in organizations. We have also shared their views and insights based on their expertise and experience. We hope that this article has helped you understand the causes and consequences of resistance to change in your organization, as well as provide you with some practical tips and tools to overcome it.


As business owners and entrepreneurs, you have the power and responsibility to lead and manage change effectively in your organization. You will do this by creating a clear vision and strategy for the change, communicating effectively with all stakeholders, involving and empowering people in the change process, and recognizing and rewarding people for their contributions and achievements.


By doing so, you will overcome resistance to change in your organization and implement your strategies effectively. You will also create a positive organizational culture that embraces change and fosters innovation, growth, and success.


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