How To Overcome Resistance to Change

By | October 9, 2016

Disrupt the myth and learn how to overcome resistance to change. The myth…that change can be managed like a project and that resistance to change can be overcome!

If you accept these myths, failure in change initiatives are surely to follow. So, what do you do?

Change Your Thinking

Stop trying to “manage” change and start to “lead” change. Managing change sounds like a logical linear change_love_fear_619961486process…sounds like project management doesn’t it…a problem that has a pre-determined outcome. Of course, there are changes that fit into this category but are those changes that lead to organizational transformation and a shift in culture…doesn’t sound like it. When managing change, leaders treat the change like a technical problem and they usually provide the solutions.

Leading change is about asking tough questions, listening intentionally and involving people across the organization in a conversation. Yes, the leader needs to share a “vision” and the next step is critical…the leader must:

  • Talk about possibilities and opportunities rather than the solutions
  • Invite people to participate in the conversation
  • Acknowledge the uncertainty people will feel when they are exposed to new and unfamiliar ways of thinking and working

Leading change is about employee engagement  where the conversation is two way…not managing change where it is often a one way conversation top-down.


Leading change is about changing the “narrative.” Transformational change and a culture shift only occur when the way people think everyday changes and a new narrative…exploring alternatives and new possibilities.

Is it easy…NO WAY…but watch how the culture starts to shift when everyone is part of the conversation to find the way forward as an organization. People will start to see that they have an opportunity to build the future.

Here’s the big one!

You and I have all experienced ‘resistance’. In fact, I have been part of an executive group that considered a whole level in the organization as an absolute group for whom we could not overcome resistance to change.

So, what do we do: accept this as resistance to change or what if we actually stopped and took to the time to understand what is behind the resistance?

Try this approach and watch your change be more consistent and with less frustration for all.

If you truly want to learn how to overcome resistance to change, consider resistance to change as 260434790921658292_BVVZVSij_fsomething to be understood not overcome. In my experience leading organizational change, resistance is not what I hear when people use the word…I hear people who are frustrated with top-down change and no opportunity to talk about possibilities and be part of building the solution. These “change resisters” simply want their leaders to ‘talk to us; listen to us.’

Do you want to disrupt the myth or do you want to perpetuate the myth and continue to experience low morale and disengagement?

Please disrupt the myth by “leading” change rather than “managing” change and watch your people become engaged and create that culture shift that leads to organizational transformation! 

Agree or disagree…please let me know and share if you like this post!

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All the best!


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2 thoughts on “How To Overcome Resistance to Change

  1. lilywong

    Hi Miles, interesting article you have there about change in organization. Yes, it’s not easy. I used to lead a team of designers and writers and they were never easy to manage. When top management implemented some changes to the organization structure, most of them chose to leave instead of exploring the new system. Your article really provided a lot of essential info to deal with the issue of change. Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin

      Thanks so much for your review and kind comments. Change is never easy and awareness of new approaches to change can help people make the transition from the current state to the future state.

      All the best,



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