Change is an inevitability and is necessary to ensure continuous improvement. Change also ensures that we constantly stay in touch with current realities. That being said, change is often very scary. I recently read a blog post by Scott McLeod titled, “10 reasons your educators (or employees) are resisting your change initiative” and I thought that I would share the 10 reasons here. They include:
- Surprise, Surprise! Decisions or requests that are sprung on administrators and teachers without notice.
- Excess Uncertainty. Not knowing enough about the change will result in the “walking off a cliff blindfolded” syndrome.
- Loss of Control. Feeling that changes are being done to, rather than done by, those affected.
- Loss of Routine. Concerns that change will require administrators and teachers to question familiar (and comfortable) routines and habits.
- We’ve Seen This Before. Expectation that the initiative is temporary and it will stay incomplete, meaning the best strategy is to lay low and not contribute to success.
- Loss of Face. Change implies that the former way of doing things was wrong. Some administrators and teachers may feel embarrassed in front of their peers or staff.
- Concerns About Future Competence. Educators can question their ability to be effective after a change: Can I do it? How will I do it? Will I make it in the new situation?
- Ripple Effects. Change in one area can disrupt other projects or activities, even ones outside of work.
- More Work. Organizational change often increases workloads.
- Sometimes the Threat Is Real. Change often creates real winners and losers, and people worry about where they will end up when the project is complete.
Whether we are trying to lead large scale school change or simply trying to encourage more mobile learning in teaching and learning, the change agents needs to always remember that schools are not run by one person and those that are involved in the change need to be supported and feel that they are part of the decision making.