If you want to make enemies, try to change something. Change, no matter what scale it is on, can be a source of stress and anxiety for many. However, it’s common for change management practitioners to view resistance to change as an irrational barrier to progress. Another school of thought is that resistance to change is a social process that can strengthen changes and help to eliminate undesirable change.
If you’re doing things the way you always have, you know by now that someone, somewhere is figuring out how to make you obsolete
The fact remains that change is necessary in all organizations. But, it is the way change is initiated which can so greatly vary. It can be forced upon companies by outside forces or just come from a realization that the company may be falling behind the times. In this way, change management might be quite beneficial to an organization. Organizations that have learned how to transform themselves through effective leadership and strategic control are more likely to survive and prosper. The dilemma is that most people hate change and love it at the same time and what they really want is for things to remain the same but get better.


The following thought-provoking quotes relate to change management including resistance to change, acceptance and change strategy.


  1. “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” — Niccolo Machiavelli
  2. “Change has its enemies.” — Robert Kennedy
  3. “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” — Harold Wilson
  4. “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.” — Samuel Johnson
  5. “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” — Charles Kettering
  6. “Event management is the same as for any project, the project plan needs to include an appropriate change control process.” — Brenda Treasure
  7. “It is always easier to talk about change than to make it.” — Alvin Toffler
  8. “It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things.” — Machiavelli
  9. “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.” — H. G. Wells
  10. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw
  11. “Paralyze resistance with persistence.” — Woody Hayes
  12. “Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.” — Frances Hesselbein
  13. “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic – Peter Drucker
  14. “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.” — John P. Kotter
  15. “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.” — Mark Sanborn
  16. “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” — Woodrow Wilson

If you enjoyed this article, please take 5 seconds to share it on your social network.


Leave a Reply

  1. Unknown

    A while back I had some training on Change Management based on the ADKAR model:

    Awareness of the business reasons for change. Awareness is the goal/outcome of early communications related to an organizational change

    Desire to engage and participate in the change. Desire is the goal/outcome of sponsorship and resistance management

    Knowledge about how to change. Knowledge is the goal/outcome of training and coaching

    Ability to realize or implement the change at the required performance level. Ability is the goal/outcome of additional coaching, practice and time

    Reinforcement to ensure change sticks. Reinforcement is the goal/outcome of adoption measurement, corrective action and recognition of successful change

    The goals and outcomes defined by ADKAR are sequential and cumulative, they must be achieved in order for effective and sustainable change to take place.

    Seems like it could have helped here a little

  2. Anonymous

    John Kotter proposed an eight step guide to reduce the risk of change failure and improve buy-in:
    1. Create a sense of urgency
    2. Build a guiding coalition
    3. Form a startegic vision and initiiatives
    4. Enlist a volunteer army
    5. Enable action by rmoving barriers
    6. Generate short-term wins
    7. Sustain acceleration
    8. Institute change
    I recommend his book ‘Leading Change’.

  3. Anonymous

    And, If I may critique what I have experienced about the office move as an example. This is not to comment on open offices, but on my perception the process.

    My sense is that some audiences feel that their concerns are being ignored or swept under the carpet, that they are being told that “you will feel better once you move in”, and that they are being herded, not heard, or engaged.

    A specific example is the question about the study that shows exposure to open office noise generates higher levels of epinephrine (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11055149). There are three possible responses to this:
    (1) “We disagree with the study and here is our counter-evidence”,
    (2) “We agree with the study and here are the specific measures we have taken to address it” (and not “We think you will all suddenly get super-quiet”), or
    (3) “We actually don’t give a damn”.

    If the answer is not explicitly 1 or 2, people will, and actually have, assumed 3 is the case. Not a healthy or productive place to be.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t mind the change – it’s inevitable. What I do mind is change that is rolled out 1) without any communication, 2) without any forethought as to who will be affected, and 3) changes that are not beta-tested ahead of time. Change can be good, but it needs to be communicated and managed properly with minimal impact to the end user.

  5. Anonymous

    If you want to make more enemies, change things without using a careful approach that considers the needs and requirements of all stakeholders in process. Brassring might be a great example. As a design, engineering, consulting, and construction organization, we should be really, really good at implementing change, but we don’t always perform as good as we’re capable of.

  6. Anonymous

    Here are some thoughts on change to consider:
    When change is successful, we look back and call it growth.
    When change is not successful, we look back and call it grief.
    Change isn’t positive or negative – it’s neutral.
    It’s how we react to change that matters.

    There’s a misconception that leaders like change and followers don’t.
    The truth is leaders don’t like change either – unless it’s their idea.

    There are three times when people change:
    1. When they hurt enough that they have to change
    2. When they learn enough that they want to change
    3. When they know enough that they are able to change

    Be willing to learn from the changes in life – which are inevitable. You can learn from most failures, setbacks and disappointments if you learn to fail forward.

    Lastly, learn to be your best friend. Success or failure doesn’t define you. Learn to be your own cheerleader – have healthy self-talk!

  7. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, I have experienced any number of “change managers” using tallies of enemies as a metric of success. It is a consequence but not one to be pursued.