Written for TakeON! by Linley Watson of Peak Performance International
In any organisational change about 20 per cent of people are ready and willing to embrace change, 50 per cent are neutral - waiting to decide which way to lean and around 30 per cent are resisters, desperately hanging on to the status quo or deliberately trying to make the new way fail. As a leader, who do you give the most attention?
If you’re like most leaders, chances are you unwittingly subscribe to the “squeaky wheel” approach where those who complain loudest get the most attention. This group of resisters are hard to ignore but giving them your attention often just reinforces their problem behaviour, causes you and the rest of your team major stress and slows down the
It makes more sense to focus your attention on those 20 percent of advocates who are up for change and engage them in influencing the 50 percent of fence-sitters whom you need to win over.
Remember, it is not essential that you have buy-in from everyone to move forward. For a good percentage of people, buy-in comes later after the results are in. For others I think this quote from John Peers sums it up nicely: “The squeaky wheel doesn't always get greased; it often gets replaced.”
Like change itself, resistance is predictable, inevitable and even necessary but you need to consider what resistance is reasonable and deal with it appropriately.