Mitigating Resistance Mark Porter 31 January 2024

Mitigating Resistance

Sustained competitive advantage requires organizations to evolve, innovate, and respond to the needs of external and internal clients. Resiliency through change within an organization correlates with leadership effectiveness and corporate culture. Organizations that transition efficiently achieve desired performance results quicker and embed the desired change permanently.

Leading the organization through change should be a defined Change Lead acting as the “Director of the Symphony of Change”

Roles of the Change Practitioner/Lead:
  1. People focused: changing people’s behavior/attitudes/roles
  2. Prepare, equip, and support impacted audiences
  3. Plan actions/strategies to mitigate people resistance
  4. Influence/Coach leadership
  5. Collaborate with Project Manager

Resistance management by the Change Practitioner must be proactive and avoid assumptions. Skilled practitioners mitigate resistance, which reduces change fatigue while enhancing employee retention, work culture, and performance.

Key tips for resistance mitigation:

1. Resistance Audit: engage impacted audiences early and often (resistance strongest during implementation)

    • survey
    • interviews
    • impact assessment (formal/informal)
    • Observations
    • Water cooler conversations

2. Mid-level managers: tendency to be most resistant

    • Engage in impact assessment/solutions plan
    • Requires Sponsor influence
    • Critical to communicate with end users

3. Timing of resistance

    • Post initial communication
    • During Training
    • Restructuring announcement

4. Employee Resistance: (Why/What’s in it for me)
(David Rock) as a framework

    • Status: relative importance to others
    • Certainty: ability to predict our future
    • Autonomy: sense of control over events
    • Relatedness: safety among others
    • Fairness: perceived exchanges between people

Do not underestimate the influence of the employees. Engage them early and often. Leverage select employees as key players as “Change Champions” increasing ownership and alignment with the change objectives.

Considerations for Change Champion:
    1. Impacted end users: credibility among peers
    2. Hierarchy: multiple levels of personnel
    3. Influential leaders: informal leadership role
    4. Early Adopters
    5. Early resistor converted to believer

Adapting and innovating are critical for sustained competitive advantage. An organization’s ability to transition requires leaders to lead and the employees to change behavior, attitudes, and roles. A skilled change practitioner implements a strategy ensuring vested members achieve the desired result!

Soteria Alliance has the expertise to successfully transition your organization through change!