Overcome Resistance to Change

Did you know that most of the organizational changes fail to reach their financial targets in the first two years?

What organizational changes am I talking about? I am talking about strategy changes, information technology changes, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

And did you know what is the main reason organizational changes fail?

The main reason organizational changes fail is not because of lack of financial capital, not because of poor technological resources, not because of time issues - but because of our natural human resistance to change.

I am going to ask you the very same question but the other way around: What do you think is the main reason organizational changes succeed?

The main reason organizational changes succeed is leadership.

What is the essence of leadership? The essence of leadership is change.

Have you ever seen an effective leader maintain the status quo? Of course not - great leaders always improve the current state of affairs for the good of most people.

Now, what is it that you can do to ensure that your next change endeavor is a success?

Back in the 80's, Richard Beckhard and Dannemiller Tyson Associates came up with an extremely simple yet effective change model, which is:
D x V x F > R

D represents the dissatisfaction with the current situation = the reason for the change = the sense of urgency = the business case for change.

V represents the vision = the place where you will arrive = what you will become - if the change is successful.

F represents the first steps you must take in the direction of the vision = what you must do in order get to the desired place where you want to arrive = your strategy so to speak.

R represents the resistance to change.

Please note that in the D x V x F > R model, if anyone of the D, V, or F variables equals cero, all three become cero - and hence - the resistance will become insurmountable, and your change initiative will fall flat on its face.

For this model to work, you must pay particular attention to one thing:

Typically in any organizational change effort, there are the Change Sponsors - the organization's leaders who possess both the power to decide about a change and the resources to back it up.

There are also the Change Agents - usually the middle management responsible for planning and executing the change.

And finally, there are the Change Targets, the individuals who must change.

The one VERY important thing you must pay attention to is the following:

Always, the Change Sponsors are perfectly aware of all three variables: D, V, and F. They know exactly the nature of every single one of them and they even give detailed speeches about each one of them.

The problem in most change initiatives is that the Change Agents not always know all three variables (DVF) as much as the Change Sponsors do.

And ever worse, the Change Targets - more often than not - know and understand little about such variables.

The one VERY important thing you must pay particular attention to is to make sure that both the Change Agents AND the Change Targets know DVF as well as the change sponsors.

Because if you don't, D or V or F will become cero, and the resistance to your change will become overwhelming.


Every single time you plan and/or implement a change (no matter how small it might be), make sure all three - the change sponsors, the change agents, AND the change targets - CLEARLY understand every single of these change elements: the D, the V, and the F.

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See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
December 6, 2011. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month

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