Same with our work lives. The attainment of important business goals often suffers when change initiatives don't take hold. Status quo lives on. It's easy to see why people don't stop eating fast food - because it's actually quite tasty! But why do we resist changes in the workplace? According to a recent Harvard Business Review blog by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, there are quite a few reasons:
- Change may feel like a loss of control. If change is coming from "the top", people may feel they've just lost a stake in the game. Smart leaders involve employees in the planning and decision making process before the change is even implemented.
- Loss of face. People associated with the thing that is being superseded are likely to feel defensive. Especially when change involves a big shift in strategic direction, the people responsible for the prior direction dread the perception that they must have been wrong. Smart leaders celebrate elements of the past that are worth honoring, making it clear that the world has changed...such the need for a new direction.
- More work. Yes, actually, change does require more work, more persistence and more diligence, but smart leaders create a clear vision of the new direction and why the extra effort is worth it.