Resistance to change

“Resistance to change”….. seems a pretty tough topic when you associate it with yourself.

Resistance to change is part of the way things paradoxically go on. At a first glance one could say that is a nonsense considering that even since our first years of life we find out that an essential element of our humanity is adaptability.

Personally I believe that resistance to change and adaptability are facets of the same mechanism that complements each other, adaptability being a more or less natural continuation of resistance to change, while resistance to change is the first step in trying to change something.

I said in the beginning of this article that including I have a concrete example connected to our professional activity. The good part of the story I will relate below is that both myself and my colleagues are a fortunate case that respects the pattern exhibited above – resistance to change is followed eventually by adaptation.

In early July, we considered appropriate to begin the process of obtaining ISO certification, preliminary discussions concluded in August, establishing that in October we will have the ISO audit.

As such, we had only one month (September) to implement certain ISO standards regarding workflows and operations. One has to take into consideration that this project came as an addition to the current activities that everyone had ongoing and which were quite a few. In this context the entire teams reaction was resistance to change, materialized in the belief that there is no sufficient time for implementation or that if we will allocate the necessary time for implementation we will be left with no time for the projects on which each of us was already involved. However the decision was made and although we are a democratic company when it comes to issues that affect us all, there was no way to retract. It was a decision that drove us out of the comfort zone we were used to and which concerned us all. Each of us had his moments of rebellion more or less externalized and the first thought that began to make small cracks in our resistance to change was that: “No one escapes this!” 🙂

Without me telling you how we spent September, I will tell you that in October we were 100% ready with every aspect involving the ISO implementation and we obtained the ISO certification without neglecting other projects on which we were involved , the beneficiaries of our work receiving the same quality and attention to which they were accustomed.

Resistance to change is also manifested when we implement new clients, when new rules of conduct are imposed and even when a new element appears that takes us out of the so called “routine” (although our work is permanently seasoned with special cases), and yet we adapt, we grow and improve ourselves together as a team. Despite the increasing workloads, despite the issues we face daily in our activity, we always find room for more, for better, adapting eventually to change, broadening our horizons.

Finally I can say that resistance to change followed by adaptation is beneficial because it makes us analyze in detail our work, it makes us place in an imaginary scale the workload we have and the time we spend on solving it and somehow suspicious (resistant to change) we try to convince others that we cannot do things in other ways or that we cannot do more and finally we end up succeeding demonstrating to ourselves that we can do things in other ways, we can do more and we can overcome and improve ourselves.

Ioana Dobre
HR Consultant


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