Centers of Conflict: Identifying a Shared Vision to Alleviate Resistance to Change
This evidence-based activity is a foundational article for internationall acclaimed The Leadership Challenge Activity Book. Published in partnership with Jim Louzes and Barry Posner, edited by Elaine Biech, president and managing pricipal of Ebb Assocatiates, Inc. The activity fits into the fifth "leadership challenge" which is to Challenge the Process. The objectives of the activity are 1., to assess reasons for perceived resistsance to change and 2., to identify potntial systemi organizaitonal causes for employee resistance.
Change in organizations is inevitable. Some change is evolutionary and some is deliberate. All change defines and determines how employees function in the organization (Schein, 1997). Organization leaders must take a more active role in managing the effects of change on employees as the demographics of employees becomes more diversified. They must take a more holistic role to develop and maintain valuable employees. "If you have the wrong people, it doesn't matter whether you discover the right direction; you won't have a great company" (Collins, 2001, p. 13). To support employees, leaders need to understand the root cause for their apparent "resistance." For example, issues may be blamed on diversity or cultural problems, when in fact, they may be due to employees' natural resistance to a change. The issue is whether leaders have a tool to accurately identify what employees may be experiencing and to pinoint what is causing the frustration. If leaders have a dependable way to identify the root cause of the behavior, it may not be labeled as a resistance. The assessment in this activity is such a tool.
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