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."
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
• How are they picked?
• What skill sets are necessary?
• Are there specific criteria for the job and is there an exhaustive and complete job description?
• What happens when new managers come in and try to change things?
• What happens when new initiatives are suggested?
• What happens when the team is frustrated and we come up with solutions in staff meetings?
• Organizational change WILL run into resistance.
• Your job is to diagnose it, not resent it or wish it would go away.
• Experienced managers know this but still tend to apply a simple set of beliefs about change and generalize:
o "Technicians will never do it that way!"
o "Our receptionists job is to handle change- they won't mind!"
o "Forget trying to ask the doctors to change anything, they won't- especially the owner!"
• ALL people who are affected by change experience some degree of emotional turmoil associated with the change.
• Even positive changes (eustress) involve loss and uncertainty.
• New managers have to be aware of what forms the resistance might take.
• "I will lose something of value."
• "I don't understand what is changing and how it will affect me."
• "I don't think this change makes sense for our practice."
• "I have a low tolerance for change and this makes me nervous."
• Losing something of value.
o People will focus on their own best interests.
o Resistance is often of a "political" nature.
o How are "politics" expressed in a veterinary practice?
o "It will change my job description."
o Development of me vs. you or us vs. them culture.
o "That won't work..."
Lack of Trust (Misunderstanding)
• Failure to understand the implications of the change.
• Perception that the change will cost more than it actually will.
• Trust issues are almost always between the person implementing the change and their employees.
• How is lack of trust exhibited in a veterinary practice?
o Rumor mill increases.
• Managers have to be quick to remedy rumors by clarifying them and holding employees accountable for the truth.