RE: Resistance to change LO1304

Tobin Quereau (
Fri, 19 May 1995 08:46:26 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO1275 --

As I was following the "resistance to change" thread, it occured to me
that focusing on that terminology brings with it much baggage that we are
exploring. What if we considered the issue from the point of view of
"identity"--that which allows us to locate ourselves and our organizations
as distinct in some useful way.

Using that lens, the problem of explaining "resistance" isn't the issue as
much as understanding how identity is created and maintained in the face
of the continuing challenge to change. In order to maintain identity, for
example, "change" is essential. We are constantly changing our selection
of input, the meaning we make of it, the outcomes we seek, etc. If we
didn't, we would be lost in the process. (This, not incidently, seems to
be the challenge of many of the ancient spiritual traditions--surrender to
the creative flow, God, the Wheel of Life, etc.--no wonder we find
creative ways to avoid it!!!)

So, in applying this perspective to the issue we are exploring, I would
think it becomes very helpful if we first seek to understand as deeply as
possible what "identity" people have created for themselves at the
personal and organizational levels. Then we can help them play with the
possibilities for expanding, shifting, or transforming their identity in
order to improve their sense of competence, skill, resilience, quality of
life, intrinsic reward, etc.

Does this suggest some new possibilities for addressing "resistance?"

Tobin Quereau