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Change Resistance (Part 2)

  • Don’t discount the impact subtle resistance to change will have on the outcome of a project. Challenging tasks require full engagement which you won’t get if a team member doesn’t want things to change.
  • Make sure to actively manage resistance to change. That means spending a lot of time getting to know a team prior to a project. The better a leader knows the team, he more she can anticipate problems.

Actively try to slow yourself down during the interpretation step. Rushing through it tends to lead to bigger emotions, and that often translates to worse decisions.

Take a moment to write down your thoughts about the event. List the pros and cons. Write down the reasons for the change. Consider the intent of the person making the change. The brief pause can often help you overcome your initial bias about an event and make a more informed decision down the line.

The better you know your team and the more they trust you, the less likely they will be to misinterpret the change. You’ll also get more benefit of the doubt when they think you are on their side and understand their needs.

It is especially important that this is not just lip service. If your team thinks you are just working them, then you’ll make changes even harder to implement. It is very hard to fake caring about them for any sustained length of time. If you really don’t appreciate what your team does for you, then you will likely have a hard time thriving in a Lean culture that depends on them showing initiative.

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