Change Resistance

Manage Resistance or It Will Manage You!

Lecture 1 - Welcome & Introduction

This lecture kicks off this "Organizational Change Resistance" course with a welcome, overview of instructor qualifications, course topic overview, and discussion of Learning Objectives.

Lecture 2 - Pathway to Learning

If you are short of time and want to skip some lectures - this video will explain how to identify the lectures that summarize the Learning Objectives and how to skim through some of the content that you already know.

Lecture 3 - Cost of Resistance

How much is Organizational Change Resistance costing your organization in lost opportunity, low productivity, management time, etc. The total direct and indirect costs may surprise you. Change Management starts with managing the costs of failure to change.

Lecture 4 - Introduction to Change Resistance - Defining It

How is Organizational Change Resistance defined? How can we classify Change Recipients in how they resist? How change resistance can be understood at a high level - All Change is Personal. While we might think of this as Change Management, it is much, much more.

Lecture 5 - You're Fired!!! (So much for Change Resistance)

This document is part of an exchange I had with a student on how to solve a problem of Change Resistance - Firing them! While that works on a TV reality show and for willful insubordination, terminating someone is not easy. In fact, going through all the steps and preparing the documentation necessary for internal and legal review is very hard. It is much easier to deal with change resistance with a soft hand and termination should only be considered as a last resort. Change Management is much more than managing by firing anyone who disagrees with you.

Lecture 6 - Change Resistance - Multiple Points of Leverage

Change Resistance is not a one-size-fits-all problem. In fact, the reasons for resistance range from personal (both conscious resistance and unconscious reactions) to poor change visioning to poor change project methodology. This lecture starts to get into how resistance is triggered while viewing Change Management from a different perspective.

Lecture 7 - Self-inflicted Change Resistance

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. Since Change Managers define resistance when they see it, they often incorrectly claim normal behavior as resistance, thereby taking actions they would not otherwise take. Further, how the Organizational Change Objective is created and the change initiative is managed can lead to many pitfalls that result in resistance across the organization.

Lecture 8 - How Resistance is Demonstrated

Change Resistance can be demonstrated in an infinite number of ways, unique to each organization and change proposed. Therefore, it is necessary to generalize the types of reactions to change to provide a framework for Change Management. Further, the perception of risk in a proposed change is related to the organization's experience with past attempts at change.

Lecture 9 - Resistance to Change - Reasons why People Resist

The reasons people generally resist organizational change can be tied to loss of something, learning anxiety, cultural pressures, or personal factors. This lecture lays the last part of the foundation for Change Management of Resistance before going deeper into hidden reasons and how Change Resistance can be Mitigated.

Lecture 10 - Irrational Resistance to Change

This document discusses how resistance is often labeled "irrational" by those managing the change process. However, those in the role of Change Management see the situation from a different viewpoint than the Change Recipients.

Lecture 11 - Deeper Understanding of Change Resistance

This lecture moves beyond how Change Resistance is demonstrated by behaviors to the six unconscious (psychological) factors that are often hidden from not only the Change Manager, but the Change Recipient as well. This is the first step in moving from understanding resistance to mitigating it.

Lecture 12 - Change Resistance Transition - Moving People past Resistance

Four models of how people move through Organizational Change Acceptance, which are key behaviors to understand for Change Management.

Lecture 13 - Accidental Triggers of Resistance

Routine management actions can accidentally trigger change resistance, an added challenge for Change Management. In this lecture, the six core unconscious needs are discussed relative to how normal managerial action can trigger resistance.

Lecture 14 - Enduring Change Resistance - Pathway to Failure

This lecture discusses the first four responses that Change Managers can take when encountering resistance. Two of the four are essentially admitting failure with the other two reactionary in nature. In the next lecture, two proactive responses are added to the list.

Lecture 15 - Resistance Mitigation - Anticipating Reasons for Resistance

This lecture completes the six approaches for dealing with organizational change resistance with the two proactive ways to mitigate (prevent) resistance from arising. The lecture concludes with a discussion on group dynamics involved in resistance dampening or reinforcement.

Lecture 16 - Benefiting from Change Resistance

Contrary to what many people believe, change resistance offers many benefits in correcting mistakes in designing the change objective and process employed to implement the organizational change. This lecture helps you identify these benefits and use them to your advantage. Further, active resistance is better than passive-aggressive behavior when it comes to successfully moving a change initiative forward.

Lecture 17 - A New Path to Overcome Resistance

This lecture re-thinks change resistance by separating what is said from the change behavior is exhibited. This shift in mindset of organizational change resistance moves to active engagement (connects back to the previous lecture). Emphasis is also placed on who defines change resistance - those leading the change initiative. By defining resistance there is great risk in improperly labeling normal behavior as resistance, thereby setting up the possibility of using unwarranted management pressure, that likely creates real, unnecessary resistance to the organizational change. (This might be classified as Change Management Malpractice.)

Lecture 18 - Summary - Understanding Change Resistance

This is the first of two summaries - examining the effectiveness of the possible approaches to managing change resistance. One approach leads to likely failure of the change initiative and three others are typically employed, but with some difficulty and mixed success. Of the two most effective approaches, the second is probably the best due to difficulty in avoiding some issues that might arise when using of the most effective option.

Lecture 19 - Summary - Mitigating Change Resistance

The second summary focuses on the mitigation of organizational change resistance. This is a "not to be missed" lecture that captures the essential action items that change leaders need to build into their change visioning and change managers need for planning the change initiative process.

Lecture 20 - Application - Understanding the Resistance You are Facing

This lecture walks through a worksheet for applying what you have been learning to a change situation you are facing. As an Application of Learning, this project provides a self-test of understanding change resistance while building an immediate return on your investment from this course (preventing resistance or addressing problems you already have). The worksheet also provides another tool that can be used when planning your next organizational change initiative.

Manage Change Resistance

"Overcome the Resistance that is Limiting Your Success" - Enroll now to defeat resistance

(16 video lectures + 2 supporting documents)

All organizational change initiatives have some resistance. (If not, a change initiative would not be needed!) To successfully lead change, it is necessary to manage resistance. However, the reasons behind resistance are very complex and often influenced by the change objective’s impact and how the change project is managed.

Upon completion of this online course, you will have an understanding of why people resist change (many reasons are hidden) and what you can do to manage a successful change initiative (you also want to avoid being a cause of resistance!).


"This in-depth course is great for managers wanting to bring change in an organization, or lead their team through a changing organization. I'm a technical manager with experience in federal contracting firms, Fortune 500 companies and consulting for small businesses. This course taught me practical strategies for how I can be a better leader in the face of resistance to change. Dr. Wirth begins with how to make the most of the course, and then discusses the origins and context of change resistance. By also then explaining traditional approaches, as well as more effective approaches to change resistance I am equipped to address change resistance now in my role. This course provides both educational content as well as a practical action plan for how to step-by-step move from resistance to agreement to implement successful change."

Sid S.

"Instructor clearly knows his stuff and is very impressive. Great for a refresher on the topic if like me you read Fullan years ago and just need to have the mind refreshed. Equally pertinent as an introduction if you are new to the topic."

Seamus S.