How to Overcome Cultural Barriers to Change

Overcoming obstacles to change is possible.
Overcoming obstacles to change is possible. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Change is a necessary part of life, especially in business. However, change is often met with resistance and can be challenging to implement. There are different types of barriers to change in business. One of the more common obstacles is a cultural barrier to change. Employees may react to any suggested changes in an unconvinced manner if they feel the existing way is working for them. Following some general guidelines, overcoming cultural barriers to change is possible.

Discuss the reasons for the needed change with employees or co-workers. It is easier to overcome cultural barriers if employees understand the reason for the change.

Present an alternative plan. If the initial plan is rejected, change your presentation. Change your focus to highlight how the changes will help your organization achieve their goals.

Use some willing members of the team as role models. The employees more willing to embrace the changes can serve as examples and help the rest of the team come along in the change process.

Listen to employees and their fears of change. Overcoming cultural barriers to change takes time but most employees will eventually accept it. Allow them to process the change emotionally.

Offer tools, training, and incentive programs. With support, overcoming the cultural barriers to change becomes easier.

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