Resistance to change

ChangeTo change . . . Why bother?

Heraclitus said: “Change is the only constant in life.” Accordingly, people like to change things or other people but are usually not so willing to change themselves.

Why do people resist to the change? Is it because they mistake inertia or no-change for safety and predictability? Logically, the fear of the unknown frightens us. Leaving a comfort zone and facing uncertainty creates a lot of anxiety thusly paralyzing any activity for a change even if the current situation or process is not functioning well. It is much more difficult to accept the change when we lack confidence. Mostly, we all tend to postpone the difficult or uncomfortable things that need to be changed. Postponing them until the very last minute (known as a “student syndrome”), until something generates an impulse of urgency. Why we believe that there is always enough time to think about a change tomorrow I have already described in Cause and consequence / Urgent and important.


Hence, successful companies lack (“the change killer”) bureaucracy in projects as well as in engineer-focused corporate culture. Even if they grow to be a huge company they maintain the start-up culture from the early days. A company just cannot perpetuate the same behavioral patterns and in the same time change the corporate culture.

From my consultancy experiences, there are two main conditions to introduce change. One is the CEO’s acceptance and assistance for change and the second is a force coming from the market or competition. In today’s business environment where everything is constantly changing, the change is an essential ingredient of a leadership process. But the urgency to change is not only in the moment when big problems occur. No, it is also necessary to avoid small ones! If not, over a span of  time these small problems accumulate and then represent a substantive sum. That is why a day-to-day leadership of change has to be pursued.

Business environment
Looking from the other perspective we are all subjected to the ethics, morality, opinions, believes and other mental belongings that are opposing to change. On top of that, we are physically different as well. Some are taller than others; some are strong and some are skinny, just to mention some differences. How can anybody change that? There is no necessity. People can only be subdued, but their minds cannot be conquered. Mostly leaders do not consider or understand that, just the exceptional ones do. And those are the ones that can institute needed changes.

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