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  • Kemi Sorinmade

Seven Reasons Why Your Team is Resisting Change


Why can’t some organizations seem to achieve the change they initiate time after time? Here are seven reasons why I believe team members resist change.

1.They have not grown into the kinds of people that can change. Usually leaders are surprised when a team member or follower doesn’t buy in to a new way of doing things or doesn’t take action. One reason is because the individual hasn’t matured or developed into the kind of person that understands what you are trying to do. The “Be, Do, Have” model needs to be followed. People have to become before they can take appropriate action so that they can change. When attitudes are not improved and characters are not developed, it will be hard to change.

2. They don’t understand the purpose for the change. A lot of times, leaders introduce new initiatives, ideas and instructions that are not backed by purpose. Your team members have to know why this new initiative exists. Not because they have a right to know but because for people, having a sense of purpose inspires action. When you ask a child to do something, the first thing they ask is why. Once you tell them why, they happily do what you want them to do.

3. They have not been given enough time to change. You tell your team this is the new way of doing things or this is what we need to do and you give them only a few weeks to get on board or do what needs to be done. You have not taken time to re-prioritize their assignments (they probably already have a heavy workload), and you have not taken into consideration how long it will take to do the things necessary for your new initiative or program to be implemented. Sometimes leaders forget that they are not the ones who will be implementing the change and miscalculate the amount of time or other resources that will be needed. This leads to resistance and mistrust.

4. They have not bought into the person initiating the change. According to John Maxwell, people buy into the leader then the vision. If you don’t have a good relationship with your team and have not connected with then it will be hard for your team to buy into your idea, vision or new program and run with it. If your followers don’t know, like and trust you like that (so to speak), you may not get much out of them.

“People buy into the leader; then the vision”

-John Maxwell

5. The change has nothing to do with them. What is in it for your team? A lot of change initiatives, mergers, and programs have no benefit for team members and employees. When people don’t understand what you’re trying to do or have no input then they won’t be motivated or inspired and will not embrace the change.

6. They do not have the tools needed to carry out the change. New tools, resources, procedures and systems are usually required to do new things. Your people may be resistant because they do not even have anything to work with. This goes back to №3 above. Creating new procedures, researching and providing the resources needed will add to the time it will take to implement the change.

7. You don’t have a good track record. You’ve started many initiatives, introduced procedures, or started new programs and they have not worked. This may be because the first six points hold true for you. People don’t trust you any longer because they know this is just another idea that will fall through so they don’t take action.

To your Success!

Kemi Sorinmade

Leadership Success Coach, Trainer, Facilitator

The Growth Studio

John Maxwell Team


Kemi Sorinmade, The Growth Studio, DISC Certified Trainer, Boston, Assessment

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