The 11 Resistances to Change

The 11 Resistances to Change, and their Tuscan translation


The 11 Resistances to Change,

...and their Tuscan translation

This is my private collection of resistances to change.
Knowing them in advance, may help you get the job done.
(and win a bottle of Chianti wine: taking part to the "Resistance Contest")

Dear Fellow Innovator,

Changing the way an organization has worked for years, requires a good deal of expertise.

These is my personal collection of answers I got from colleagues, Client’s employees, Managers of any seniority and Customers, when executing my six sigma, lean and change management projects.

And because I worked so many years in Tuscany, trying to change the behaviors of a former state owned company into those of the mother of all privately ruled businesses (General Electric), I had the privilege to be addressed by the world famed  citizens of Florence, whose tongue is said to have killed more people than the sword.

So I accompany my private collection of Resistances with the very sentences I was replied by them as a unsurpassable barrier to change the status quo.

I am sure you will recognize these answers whenever you will have the misfortune to have to change people’s behaviors in your professional life.

But knowing these answers in advance, it will give you a sure advantage!

Here they are:

The 11 Resistances to Change …  (and their Tuscan translation:)


1. Poor understanding of the value added:

( "ma icchè me ne fo?" -  more or less: "What I'am supposed to use it for?", where: for nothing" ,it’s the implicit answer.)

2. Is not the way we do things, here:

( "belle le chartine, perchè ‘un vieni a lavorà?" ~ "nice little charts, boy, now, why you do not start working?)

3. Fearing the un-known:

( "ma ‘un c’è mai stato problemi… si va proprio bene come s’è fatto finora" ~ "we never experienced any kind of problem till now ... we do perfectly fine in our own way"... Where: "you bring up the problem, boy", it’s implicit...)

4. Lack of training and reference points:

("eh ‘un ci s’ha il tempo per guardare queste cose" ~ "we do not have time to look at this now" ... Where: " and we will never have", it’s implicit)

5. Previous Failures:

( "n’ho visti tanti …" ~ "I saw many other.." where: "...failing as you will surely also do" , it’s implicit)

6. Not invented here:

( "eh funzionerà costà da voi, ma qui…" ~ "It's a great solution there - where you come from, but here..." ... Where: "you do not understand that we are different", it’s implicit)

7. Fearing loss of privileges:

( "bah… ma così un vale mi’a" ~ "this way is not by the rule" ... Where: -the rule-, it’s exactly what you are willing to change.)

8. Lack of control:

( "ma tanto ‘un li guarda nessuno…" ~ "c'mon, nobody cares" )

9. Embarrassment:

( "… s’è bell’e perso i’ treno…" ~ "we missed the train" ... Where: running to reach it, it’s not an option)

10. Refuse the existence of alternative points of view.

("…bada Pallino…è inutile tu ci giri intorno… l’è come ti di’o io…" ~ " ... hey little boy, don't spin around, the situation is the one I tell you..." where: having another point of view, it’s not an option...)

11. Ability to move forward only by experiment.

(  …quanti ne siete?... non lo voglio sapere…" ~ " ... How many are they?... I do not want to know it". It’s a sympthom of refusing to think long term in order to decide the next move. The un-ability to think "Right to Left" from Goal to actions, and the willingness to accept only "experiments" as a way to move forward, is, for my experience, probably the first single reason for innovation’s failure.)

And the addendum, valid for any manager trying to change his own organization:

“Nemo profeta in patria…”   …

( "eccolo… ora gli’è arrivato lui…" ~ "here he is, just arrived"  ... Where: an hironic " miracle man", t’is implicit...)


The Resistances Contest:

To the first one of you bringing to my attention a Resistance that can not be listed among these, I will be happy send a bottle of Chianti wine as a present and thank you.


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London: +44 7491 164 097
Firenze: +39 349 648 2225

(call me now, at breakfast time, when you drive to work, wait at the airport...)



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