choosing strategies for change

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Best of HBR JOHN P. KOTTER AND LEONARD A. SCHLESINGER Choosing Strategies for Change considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.”1 In 1973, The Conference Board asked 13 eminent authorities to speculate what significant management issues and problems would develop over the next 20 years. One of the strongest themes that runs through their subsequent reports is a concern for the ability of organizations to EDITOR’S NOTE: A lot has respond to environmenchanged in the world of tal change. As one person management since 1979, when wrote: “It follows that an this article first appeared, but acceleration in the…show more content…
■ To lead change, tailor your strategies to the types of resistance you’ll encounter. For instance, with employees who fear change, provide skills training. ■ Consider situational factors. For example, to avert an imminent crisis, change quickly – even if that intensifies resistance. number of different reasons, individuals or groups can react very differently to change – from passively resisting it, to aggressively trying to undermine it, to sincerely embracing it. To predict what form their resistance might take, managers need to be aware of the four most common reasons people resist change. These are a desire not to lose something of value, a misunderstanding of the change and its implications, a belief that the change does not make sense for the organization, and a low tolerance for change. Parochial self-interest. One major reason people resist organizational change is that they think they will lose something of value as a result. In these cases, because people focus on their own best interests and not on those of the total organization, resistance often results in “politics” or “political behavior.”5 Consider these two examples: ■ After a number of years of rapid growth, the president of an organization decided that its size demanded the creation of a new staff function – New Product Planning and Development – to be headed by a vice president. Operationally, this change eliminated most of the
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