An incredibly high percentage of the changes introduced in business organizations do not reach their full potential—that is, they’re not fully implemented or do not produce the benefits envisioned by their sponsors.
Changes usually don’t fail because of technical reasons, such as something inherently flawed about the change itself. They usually fail for human reasons: The promoters of the change did not attend to the healthy, real and predictable reactions of normal people to disturbance of their routines.
It’s often said that people don’t resist “change” so much as they resist “being changed.” So the job of change management is clear: In a nutshell, you have to explain why the affected people should want to change, and thereby cultivate readiness instead of resistance.
Excerpted from Brien Palmer, Making Change Work: Practical Tools for Overcoming Human Resistance to Change, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, pages xv–xvi, 7–9.