33 hypothesis why change is resisted

Many people do not like changes or approach them only half-heartedly. They like what they know, they are reluctant to leave the comfort zone, even if it is not at all comfortable.

Driving forces vs restraining forces

Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis

Lewin describes two forces, driving forces or forces toward and forces away from or restraining forces. He posists that in order to allow successful change efforts to happen, the most important forces to tackle, or better said to remove, are restraining forces (Lewin, 1947).

One of the most critical restraining force:

… is the stable state or state of origin of a system. In systems theory describes the desire of a system to employ (strong) sorces to get back to this state which makes sustainable change more difficult to achieve.

32 further restraining forces

  • Stare decisis (status quo is right)
  • Inertia (the larger the system the more force is needed for change)
  • Satisfaction
  • Lack of ripeness
  • Fear
  • Self-interest
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Future shock
  • Futility (felt like a charade)
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Human nature to be greedy
  • Cynicism
  • Perversity (unintended consequences)
  • Individual genius vs group mediocrity
  • Ego
  • Short-term thinking
  • Myopia (wish not to see)
  • Sleepwalking
  • Snow blindness (social conformity)
  • Collective fantasy
  • Chauvinistic conditioning
  • Fallacy of the exception
  • Ideology
  • Institutionalism
  • Natural pace of change
  • The rectitude of the powerful
  • Change has no constituency
  • Determinism
  • Scientism
  • Habit
  • The despotism of custom
  • Human mindlessness

Quelle: O’Toole (1996), “Leading Change.”, New York: Random House