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‘In order to control your destiny, you must realise that you will stay ahead competitively only if you acknowledge that no advantage and no success is ever permanent.
The winners are those who keep moving.’
John Browne, former CEO of BP

To remain competitive in the marketplace you must continue to improve your products, your work practices, your service, and your team’s knowledge, skills and attitudes. You need to look for, and successfully implement, new ideas and changes.

Yet, according to Dr. John Kotter, regarded by many as the world authority on change, 70% of change projects fail! Why is this? Usually, he says, because those driving the change tend to neglect or underestimate the impact of people’s attitudes and behaviours on implementing change successfully.

In other words, the change will be implemented successfully only if you capture people emotionally as well as logically. How can you do this, in a practical sense?


5 Reasons Why People Hate Change


There are five main reasons people don’t like and resist change. Determining which reason and then responding appropriately will enable you to capture their hearts.

  1. We resist what we don’t understand
    We like to know what is happening and why.  And the ‘why’ that is most compelling is why this change will be beneficial to this particular person. In my experience the size of the benefit is not important, it is the fact that it is a genuine and personal benefit that matters.
  2. We resist when we haven’t been part of the process 
    If the change is merely announced we feel no sense of choice or control.  It is critical to involve people in the change process as early as possible and as much as possible.
  3. We resist if we don’t trust the people instigating the change 
    By having a trusting working relationship with your team you are more likely to be able to encourage them to take on the challenge, and it is more likely that they will believe the benefits you describe.
  4. We resist when the change affects routines and norms we value 
    People feel anxious that they’ll be expected to work harder, learn new skills and work in a very different environment. Focusing on the support and coaching you will give them reassures them that they will cope with the changes they are expected to make.
  5. We look to protect ourselves from uncertainty
    In any change, certainty may decrease significantly for a period of time. This can be very uncomfortable for many people. Keep acknowledging and addressing peoples’ concerns, ignoring or dismissing their concerns only increases their anxiety and resistance.


Too many businesses focus their time and money on the mechanics of change – the new processes, procedures, ways of working. But they completely ignore the pivotal role of people in change. If your people are not on board, your program has virtually no chance of succeeding.

If you are in the middle of a significant change program, take a moment and evaluate what you have done to overcome your employee’s resistance change. Have you involved them in the process? Addressed their concerns? Built trust and understanding?  Are your people set up for success and genuinely ready to help implement your growth agenda? Or has the people part of the equation been largely ignored, making them more likely to hinder it?


If you want to find out how to get your people on board and become one of the 30% of change program that succeeds, get in touch with us today on 1300 085 248 or