Understanding resistance to change

Understanding resistance to change | Mandarine Academy

In a digital transformation project, it is very important to have a usage-based approach, but there is also a strong issue on the adoption of these technologies, it’s what we call Change Management. It is based on 7 fundamental pillars:

  • Have the right level of sponsors,
  • Have communities of champions
  • The ability to communicate and reach all the company’s employees on the subjects of use and collaboration
  • Include training on new tools
  • Managing resistance to change
  • Reward and inspire employees to change their habits
  • Measure and conduct adoption

Today, we will talk about two of these seven pillars. How to manage resistance to change and how to reward and motivate users to change their work habits. We will talk about neuromanagement, the understanding of human intelligence at the service of management to enable more effective management.

How to succeed in the phases of change with neuroscience?

What is important to know is that everyone has an aversion to change. We are all naturally resistant to change. When we learn, we create a neural groove to create the novelty, then we enter a phase of repetition. Man is not programmed for change. Regardless of our age, a special effort must be made for each change/novelty that occurs. Indeed, integrating something new requires us to perform two distinct operations. First you have to unconsolidate the first connection, i. e. the habit, then you have to rebuild a new connection.

We all have fears of change, but we all have what is called neuroplasticity. It is the ability to recreate new brain circuits throughout our lives. This neuroplasticity is certainly more important in children, but it is possible to train it throughout our lives. By getting used to tasks, we no longer work on this plasticity. There is a kind of rigidity in the brain circuits, but nothing prevents you from going beyond this plasticity, by continuing to learn to keep your brain alert and agile.

How does it work in a company?

In companies, we are dealing with slightly younger and older people, with a more or less significant aversion to change, depending on their habits.

As mentioned above, we all have an aversion to change. To succeed in this change, we need a reward, an interest, we must see from the beginning what it will bring us. Then comes the repetition of this interest, because we can have an interest, it is not enough. If we do not get into action and repetition, it won’t work. The more we repeat, the more automatic it will become.

Naturally, we have two circuits, the pleasure circuit, which makes us want to continue and the threat circuit, which creates an imbalance. By nature, the threat circuit will be activated first. The challenge in a change process will be to inhibit this circuit of threat and project ourself into the circuit of pleasure.

In reality, it is a question of making an employee feel comfortable, by explaining what will happen with a vocabulary that he knows and that he regularly uses in his daily life. It will also be necessary to explain to him what he will gain in order to find the balance between threat and pleasure. Then continue gradually by repeating the operation. It is important not to think that when we have communicated and explained once, the work is done. We will have to re-explain, and little by little, we will succeed in creating this transformation and this change.

Finally, any change must be initiated by the person themselves. We must not rush her by saying “Tomorrow, you change tools”, we must accompany her, by showing her the interest and the added value. By doing this, we create all the favourable conditions to initiate in the person himself a beginning of the change process that will have to be consolidated over time.

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