POPin Blog

Dealing With Resistance to Corporate Change

Richard Beckhard and Rubin Harris first published their change equation in 1987 in “Organizational Transitions: Managing Complex Change,” and it’s still useful today. It states that for change to happen successfully, the following statement must be true:

Dissatisfaction x Desirability x Practicality > Resistance to Change

Dissatisfaction – Your team has to feel dissatisfied with the current situation before a successful change can take place. Without dissatisfaction, no one will likely feel very motivated to change. Dissatisfaction could include competition pressures or workplace pressures. Dissatisfaction can be any factor that makes people uncomfortable with the current situation. Desirability – The proposed solution must be attractive, and people need to understand what it is. If your team doesn’t have a clear vision of what things will be like after the change, and why things will be better, then they probably won’t be willing to work to deliver it. The clearer and more detailed you make this vision, the more likely it is that your team will want to agree with the change and move forward. Practicality – Your team must be convinced that the change is realistic and executable. Resistance to change – Resistance to change includes people’s beliefs in the limits of the change (“A new system won’t fit with our unusual business process”), stubbornness toward any change (“I don’t want to have to learn how to use a new system”), and general inertia or lack of interest at the beginning. Dissatisfaction. Sameness. Rut. Discomfort. Uneasiness. Call it what you want, but we’ve all been there. And it’s amazing how long we can sit in that zone for a while….a long while. It’s painful, but not PAINFUL. We often don’t move unless circumstances force us to. Companies often operate in the same way whereby change doesn’t happen unless there a crescendo of pain and “mob mentality” takes over. But that reaction, that method – and the stressful and intimidating changes that result – do little for long-term strategy development and ideation. We’re not saying that every organizational change cannot have a measure of reaction to pain. Certainly, a company needs to be agile and open-minded. But what we are saying is that proactive ideation – where actionable results are elevated – is clearly the most effective way to make improvements to your organization. Leveraging internal resources and teams to determine which business pain is most pressing is the most effective way to improve their organizational health, product cycles, internal communication, and more. PoPin provides an innovative way to do this with crowd sourcing and crowd solving. Involve your entire company in an easy and fast approach to problem solving.