By nature human beings are resistant to change. Sometimes this is a good thing when the change is detrimental and not well thought out, other times when it’s beneficial change the resistance can seem much higher.

Psychology is a clinical study of the human psyche, however contrary to some beliefs it is not a science. It is not infallible, yet it can give insight to such topics as resistance to change.

Clinical studies have shown that subjects sometimes directly or indirectly exhibit paradoxically driven behaviors. These behaviors can drive them to support detrimental and damaging change while other times invoking erratic behaviors, even wrath, and personal attacks with regards to beneficial changes, and yes even targeting the employee acting as the Agent of Change.

I have spent my career in the Tech Sector and witnessed such behavior first hand. Many times. Too many times ideally.

Technology is an ever evolving landscape with many traps and pitfalls where the latest buzzwords and applications have the potential to become costly. If a change is not analyzed fully, instead adopting it wantonly, it can send an organization right off the proverbial cliff with no slowing down, no touching the brakes, hitting the accelerator, no going to jail, and no collecting $200.

This result can many times be readily apparent by applying sound logic and common sense to the change and its long term prognosis, yet employees will blindly support it wholeheartedly.

When presented with logical common sense approaches that provide beneficial change and positive organizational improvements, those same employees will go to great extent to prevent its fruition. This is the other side of the paradox.

Psychologically, is there an answer as to what drives these behaviors in employees?

Is it jealousy that they did not come up with the change?

Is it concern that the change may provide a promotion or organizational benefit to the person who came up with it?

Does it take a process or work from one team, improve it, and supplant it with an improved process? Automation even?

Is it subconscious or consciously driven? Or both?

Ultimately, it seems many times to be driven by a combination of all the above, sometimes based on kingdom building exercises and organizational jockeying.

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