Taming the beast: Resistance and anxiety in change processes

Beware the monster: “We will propose change. You will resist it. We will resist in turn, not by looking at the validity of your ideas, but by trying to overcome your resistance with carrots if possible and sticks if necessary.”
By John Butler
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/23/2001

If you believe the flood of information on change management, two things are inevitable: change, and resistance to change. Change management has become an issue for HR practitioners because the profession is central in finding and making the pieces that comprise organizations, and they are often left to pick up the pieces when a change process falls apart.

The last decade witnessed burgeoning interest in change management, partly because of the speed of change and partly because one kind of change, computer technology, has exploded. Explosions get attention.

Change authors (myself included) ride on a wave of panic, a sense that change is a Darwinian imperative, producing new species at a frightening rate — even though most of the species die.