Peter Vajda has an excellent post on Why People Resist Change. While I have a lot of respect for Peter, I think his argument misses some important facts. Namely the fact that people resist change because they can't see how it benefits them. In fact, often times the changes will hurt them. In those situations, no amount of involving them in the decision making process is going to persuade them to execute the decision.
Very briefly, Peter's thesis is that people resist change because they are not involved in the decision to change. While his arguments are compelling, they don't address the core reason why people resist change.
Why People Resist Change
When someone is trying to change a structure or process, by definition there is a structure and process which already exists. It's a good bet that someone put it in place because it benefits them, intentionally or accidental. In either case, they are probably the key power brokers necessary to make the new processes work. The new processes are often more efficient because they get rid of the loopholes that the power brokers currently exploit.
Everyone will often agree that the new structures and processes benefit the company as a whole. However, it's a good bet that they will not benefit the people who are benefiting today. And its a better bet, that even if those people agree in principle, when it comes to executing them, they will resist. They may resist passively or subversively, but they will resist. And it's good bet that they'll be smart enough to do it quietly.
Think of it this way. If your mother suggested changing from eating spinach to eating cake, it's quite likely that you'd implement that change easily. However, if she suggested changing your desert from cake to spinach, no matter how much healthier the diet would be, you're likely to resist. Do you really think being involved in the decision making process would change your outlook?
23 hours ago