By Jen Sweeney
The past few years have brought a boatload of changes to computing in the enterprise. Smartphones, tablets, BYOD, the consumerization of IT, and, more recently, Windows 8 have all contributed to the changing landscape of workplace computing. But they also have brought on a bit of heartburn for IT leaders and help desk staff. Generally speaking, people loathe change, and will fight it every step of the way.
“If change feels like walking off a cliff blindfolded, then people will reject it.”
Stagnation, at least in terms of technology in the workplace, is a relic. Constant change is a given. If your company is considering any manner of technology change, especially a move to Windows 8, which is being called one of the most jarring OS updates since last century, you’d be wise to prepare yourself by understanding the motivations behind resistance.
In a recent blog post on hbr.org, author and Harvard Business School prof Rosabeth Moss Kanter (@rosabethkanter) offers 10 reasons why people resist change. Among them: loss of control, ripple effects, competence concerns and more work. In her post, Kanter doesn’t offer any revelations about human nature, but she does provide a succinct collection of common reactions to change and suggestions on how to minimize discomfort. For example, one universal source of resistance is excess uncertainty. Writes Kanter: “If change feels like walking off a cliff blindfolded, then people will reject it.” She urges leaders to create certainty by offering clear, simple steps and timetables.
Read the full blog post here.
While change is fresh in your mind, you may want to also read “8 IT Mistakes: Must-Have Lessons From Top CIOs,” which was published Oct. 3 on InformationWeek.com. This piece offers eight real examples of projects that went awry and how they could have been handled differently.
Speaking of Windows 8 and change: The Philadelphia affiliate of ABC stopped by our offices recently to interview Joe Puckett, Vitalyst’ director of recruiting and training, about Windows 8 and how it could impact businesses. If you missed it, you can see it on 6ABC’s site or by clicking the still image to the right.