Dealing with Ideological Resistance to Change

Dealing with Ideological Resistance to Change

Ideological resistance to change is all about people’s beliefs. It can be difficult to win these people over unless you demonstrate that the change—or project—you are implementing is compatible with their feelings.

Every creative person, and I think probably every other person, faces resistance when they are trying to create something good…The harder the resistance, the more important the task must be. – Donald Miller

This post shows you how to recognize ideological resistance to change and also provides tips for dealing with ideological resistance to change in the workplace.

Understanding Ideological Resistance to Change

To illustrate ideology and ideological resistance to change, let’s consider Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Ideas such as Darwin’s theory of natural selection are often vigorously opposed. For instance, by church, government or scientific peers. In fact, Charles Darwin peers were probably the source of the strongest resistance!

We find that it takes time for new ideas to be accepted. And occasionally some will never accept a new theory or change of direction.

In business, people may believe that a new direction violates the fundamental values held by the organization. They feel nostalgic about the organization and about past successes. They prefer not to change! This is particularly problematic in organizations where middle managers with long tenure are persuasive throughout the organization — something we see in the public sector.

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