The word resistance is often used to describe people who choose not to support the change management plan. While they do hamper the plausible improvement of an existing system, but branding them as resistance, has its own negative effects. In fact, as soon as they are branded, it leaves little scope for understanding them, and changing their mindset.
Steve deShazer, through his article, ‘The Death of Resistance’, has made the health industry rethink how it makes use of the term resistance.
An alternate to saying that people resist change, could be to coin the phrase ‘people object to change’. Given any typical business case, it is important for the leadership to connect with the customer-facing employees. If this is not followed, the change management team would seem too pushy to enforce the changes upon the employees. They, on the other hand, would invariably be resistant.
Lean preaches the principle- ‘respect for people’. Being considerate and relating to the employees, makes the leadership acceptable. Common employees would not object to the plan, if the leaders are transparent, and honest with them.
It is also important for the leadership to involve the employees in the change management undertaking. This would not only make them more open to the change, but they would now actively participate in the process, rather than objecting to it.