Resilience… to change

31d6f8_e4eb0a129d924a418baaefa86afce776.jpg_srz_863_383_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

When you talk about organisational change, the term resistance to change often comes up. It is as if certain groups of people in your organisation intentionally won’t change – indeed, they resist it.

However, perhaps we should look at this phenomenon from a different angle. That is, how  important norms and values become established within your organisation.

When an organisation has strong norms and values we would say that it has attained a high degree of resilience. One way you measure this resilience is the time it takes for newcomers to adapt to this resilient way of doing things. The point is that most of the time resilience is a really good thing for an organisation. 

Companies getting stuck are basically becoming too resilient and this is where the term organisational inertia is helpful. When environments shift, groups within the organisation will see the need for change. These are often the people closer to the customer. Meanwhile the rest of the organisation continues to be strong and resilient.

Very often this is not intentional resistance, it is merely continuing on the ‘right path’.  It is only when the organisation as a whole experiences enough dissatisfaction with the current modus operandi that the desire for change becomes bigger than than the resilience (or inertia).

If we would see resistance to change for what it really is – resilience to change – repurposing this resilience will become easier and more natural.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s