People resist change - or do they?
This post was triggered by reading a job advert for a change manager in a large multi-national company. It explained the role, largely by saying that there was widespread resistance to change in the organisation that the job holder would be responsible for understanding and managing.
I have just finished my doctoral studies into planned change. Putting it politely - it's a bit old-fashioned in 21st century Britain to think about people's perceptions and choices during change as 'resistance' - with its connotations that this is illogical and illegitimate in some way.
My doctoral work has looked, from an academic point of view, at what I have long believed as a practitioner - that change agents (project managers, programme managers, change managers or whatever you want to call them) are more successful more of the time if they think about their work from the perspective of the people whose work will change as a result of what they're doing. Change strategies and plans that are based on a real understanding of attitudes to change will always be more successful than those based on 'text-book' approaches that relegate people to the 'users' category. That 'users' might resist change is possible. That people who know their job will automatically do so is to miss the point.
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