Re: Resistance to change LO1318
Sat, 20 May 1995 14:59:19 +1200

Replying to LO1304 --

Tobin Quereau writes:

"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!!!)"

But it is also true that when we 'learn' something we change in ourselves
and in our behaviour. And to change always involves abandoning some
cherished part of our existing identity. It seems to me that resistance to
change is embedded in this process. It follows that change will only occur
when the understanding of its purpose and desirability comes from within.
When it comes from without ('just do it') we find the organisational
phenomena of superficiality without deep structure change, subversion and
sabotage; and the individual phenomena of stress, anger and depression.

Phillip Capper
Centre for Research in Work, Education and Business
New Zealand