Mark Blasini

Concepts Toolbox

Resistance-based planning


Source: The problem with most plans

Description: A form of planning that takes into account the resistance you'll encounter when trying to achieve the results or aims you're hoping for.

The idea is this: every plan involves some sort of change. Because every change always brings about some sort of risk, even if the risk is negligible, the plan is likely to bring about some sort of resistance.

Accordingly, there are four types of resistance you need to plan for:

  1. Resistance to you as the proposer. The less people know or trust you, the greater their resistance to you as the proposer.
  2. Resistance to the proposed change itself. The less clear the benefits of the change are, the harder people will be able to imagine the change, and thus go along with it.
  3. Resistance to the effort required to implement or maintain the change. The more perceived toil or difficulty in making the change happen, the more resistance you'll receive.
  4. Resistance to the control of implementing the change. The less control people have over the change, the more resistance they'll have to it.

With resistance-based planning, you want to plan for these types of resistances, depending on what you want to achieve and from whom you need help or support.

Thus, to manage the resistance to you as a proposer, you must develop a relationship with those whose support you need for the change. You must build familiarity, trust, and rapport, and demonstrate that you are capable and intelligent.

To manage resistance towards your idea, you must provide compelling benefits, and demonstrate your idea in a clear way. Provide contrasts with how things are and paint a picture of the future.

To manage resistance towards the effort required to implement your idea, you must work at simplifying the steps and making them as easy as possible. Think hard about the process and what people have to go through to make the change happen.

And to manage resistance towards the control, you must provide a large amount of freedom for the people who will affect the change. Ask for their insight, give them responsibilities, engage their creativity in the process.

tags: strategy; risk management