Change is the easiest way of making enemies. No matter how fanciful change initiatives are, there are always some individuals who are aversive to change, or detest it, and will always work against
So, what are the enemies of change?
- Those who want to remain in their comfort zone. Being in an environment for long creates adaptable attributes that are difficult to dislodge. For some persons who are used to a particular way of doing something, it will take extraordinary efforts in convincing them that a better and more effective way exists. Rather than see the possibilities ahead, they hold on to their long held beliefs that nothing is wrong with the system they have operated over the years.
- People with anxiety and fear of the unknown: Every change initiative being implemented sometimes spin out of control and creates a sense of loss. For some, the loss is span of control and disturbances while to others, it is resource constraint. In view of the uncertainty that change portends, many develop anxiety over the fear of the unknown that will come with it.
- A large presence of dissenters. Dissenters in organizations are persons who are opposed to or do not agree with the proposed change initiative or the way and manner It is being implemented. The major grievance of dissenters is usually that they are never given opportunity to voice their concerns, and/or that their opinion were not given due consideration. Dissenters have the potential of sabotaging the change initiative just to prove the point that they were right ab initio.
- Disasters/crisis: The occurrence of a disaster with a high negative impact on a new change initiative is a major setback. The recovery from such disaster and further implementation of the initiative often meets with difficulty particularly where doubts about the program remains unresolved.
- Organizational inertia and corporate politicking. Most organizations have a long standing culture and behavioral code. Corporate politics and insider abuses all combine to make some change initiatives ineffective and a mass failure.
- Poor timing: For any change to gain trust and support of employees, it must be introduced at the right time where all indices point to its welcome and acceptance. Any initiative/policy introduced in an environment polluted by dissenters will receive deliberate opposition. A good policy introduced at the wrong time will be fought at and perceived to be bad. Right timing is a strategy execution leaders use to create value for initiatives and win support for its implementation thereby endearing commitment and buy-ins of all team members.