But, what is the process that enables us to reach such ambitious objective? Is there a difference between the “Layers of Resistance”, “Judging a solution” and the “Change Matrix”?
The TOC Dictionary provides the following definition:
Layers of Resistance
- A six-part stratification of the concept in organizational behavior that is often identified as “resistance to change”. The six layers of resistance, as expressed by the person(s) resisting change, are:
- Disagree on the problem.
- Disagree on the direction of the solution.
- Disagree that the solution solves the problem.
- Yes, but there are potential negative consequences.
- Yes, but there are obstacles to implement the solution.
- Un-verbalized fears.
- More recently, nine layers of resistance have been identified:
- There is no problem.
- Disagreement on the problem.
- The problem is out of my control.
- Disagreement on the direction for the solution.
- Disagreement on the details of the solution.
- Yes, but… the solution has negative ramification(s).
- Yes, but… we can‘t implement the solution.
- Disagreement on the details of the implementation.
- You know the solution holds risk.
- I don‘t think so – Social or psychological barriers.
Perspective: These layers are actually sub-categories of disagreement on: why change, what to change, to what to change, how to cause the change, and how to measure and sustain the change and achieve a process on ongoing improvement.
Properly understood, what is thought of as -resistance actually becomes a force for managing organizational change by using the TOC tools, particularly the thinking processes, to systematically overcome each layer of resistance and obtain buy-in. Each layer must be successively peeled away by using the change question sequence (either the three- or five-questions sequence) and the thinking processes. The key to overcoming resistance to change is to get ownership of all involved in the change in the answers to the five change questions: why change, what to change, what to change to, how to implement the change and how to measure and sustain change.
Cox III, James F., Lynn H. Boyd, Timothy T. Sullivan, Richard A. Reid, and Brad Cartier, 2012, The Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization Dictionary, Second Edition, page 71.
Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt clearly explains the “buy-in” process and provides insights to the implications of change in two of his presentations: