Change Management - Requires both Managing Resistance and Deflection

Michael T. Walsh, Vice President, Universal Window & Door, West Yarmouth, MA, USA

Keywords: Culture Change, Lean and Six Sigma, Process Improvements

Industry: All

Level: Intermediate


Managing Change - Resistance Or Deflection

Most of the people who must manage organizational change are responding to direction that is imposed by someone "higher up" in the organization. The need for change is rarely a consensus decision among all who will be affected by it. Change may be imposed upon us without our agreement or approval. However, individuals always have control over how they respond. Organizations often change for reasons that are not obvious to all employees. The view from the top is not the same as the view from the bottom. Changes tend to come on top of each other in constant motion, not in a nice, clean, linear fashion. Developing attitudes and processes for continuing productivity through change are more important than any specific accomplishment or event. Those who initiate the change and those who must execute the change must work together if anything meaningful is going to result.

Successful changes, whether personal or organizational, begin with the end in mind. It isn t enough to make general comments such as we will implement Lean or Six Sigma or an ISO9001-2015 program .

Change is difficult for everyone involved. You will have better results in planning the change if you involve the key stakeholders. Employees may have some important insights that could help the organization move more smoothly through the coming weeks and months. In addition, you will find that there will be more support and less resistance from those who have had a say in how things should be done.

Everyone and that means EVERYONE becomes concerned with their own position whenever there is a change that affects them in any way. Suddenly, every action is seen in the context of what it means to one's reputation, value, and future in the company. People start to become preoccupied with their self-preservation.

Much of this is subconscious behavior, rooted in the survival instinct. (And then, as you might expect, some of it can be deliberate behavior.)

Our session will quickly review the very real and recent conditions (culture) of a manufacturing organization which prevented change and the implementation and successful execution.

Once the broad picture is presented, we will discuss and learn from obstacles preventing said change. Resistance is always a culprit but we will also add the deflection factor introduced by "the devil we know".

This presentation is designed for business and operational managers and supervisors, and anyone involved in analyzing, managing or improving business processes, practices and business rules in and across their organization.

What you will learn by attending this session:

  • Skills to identify and prioritize your business processes
  • A clear understanding of how to recognize and deal with the differences between resistance and deflection as an obstacle.
  • Tactics that you can immediately apply to improve your business process implementations
  • The ability to plan, conduct, and implement process change