When you need to implement or change your company’s supply chain strategy, you’ll be lucky not to encounter at least one or two obstacles along the way. One obstacle in particular though, despite its certainty, seems to catch out leaders in supply chain (and other areas of industry), with monotonous regularity. That obstacle is called organisational change resistance.
Know What Drives Resistance to Organisational Change
We call it organisational change resistance, yet at its source are often many individual fears, anxieties, concerns and other very personal motivations, most of which are actually quite predictable. Good change management–which should be integrated into the implementation of any new supply chain strategy–includes considering these motivations or “resistance enablers” and executing an action plan to weaken or reduce them.
Change management is a big topic, with many different facets about which you can learn. However a good place to start is by understanding why people resist organisational changes. Here are the top three most likely reasons why people resist change in the workplace:
1) Personal change aversion:
Some people just don’t like change for no other reason than they don’t like change. These are people for whom routine is everything and they will be the toughest workforce contingent to win over. You might be surprised to learn that these people may even be in management positions. These are the ones whom, if you can’t them bring along on the change journey, may have to be let go.
2) Surprise and fear of the unknown:
If you impose change upon your organisation without plenty of advance notice and opportunities for discussion, surprise and fear about what may happen are the two most likely drivers for change resistance. You can eliminate this problem before it even rears its head, simply by communicating early, finding out what concerns people have and then addressing those concerns.
3) Perceived threat to job security:
Even employees who are not change-averse will resist new strategy implementation if they perceive a threat to their job security. If your strategy contains even a whiff of the words “downsizing” or “restructuring”, you will need to work extra hard on change management and allaying people’s fears.
Make Change Management an Integral Part of Strategy Implementation
If your organisation is planning to implement a new supply chain strategy, whether for the first time or as a necessary change to satisfy the market, try to make sure change management is not overlooked. Given the amount of initiatives that fail because of organisational change resistance, you can be forgiven for raising your hand and shouting “change management” if you don’t hear anyone else doing so.
You can find out lots more about implementing supply chain strategy in Supply Chain Secrets, one of my books written to help people understand supply chains and learn how to manage them effectively. To find out more, head over to the product page for Supply Chain Secrets, where you can see details of all the topics covered in this engaging and informative publication.
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