Why do we resist change?

Generally, we know the only constant is change, but a very close second is the resistance to that change itself.

In 1959, The Product Manager, E.F. Borisch, compiled this list of “50 Reasons Why We Cannot Change.” while working for the Milwaukee Gear Company, and many of these reasons still resonate as if they were written today.
Below are the reasons:

REASON 1: “We’ve never done it before”.
REASON 2: “Nobody else has ever done it”.
REASON 3: “It has never been tried before”.
REASON 4: “We tried it before”.
REASON 5: “Another company/person tried it before”.
REASON 6: “We’ve been doing it this way for 25 years”.
REASON 7: “It won’t work in a small company”.
REASON 8 “It won’t work in a large company”.
REASON 9 “It won’t work in our company”.
REASON 10: “Why change—it’s working OK”.
REASON 11 “The boss will never buy it”.
REASON 12 “It needs further investigation”.
REASON 13 “Our competitors are not doing it”.
REASON 14 “It’s too much trouble to change”.
REASON 15 “Our company is different”.
REASON 16 “The ad department says it can’t be done”.
REASON 17 “Sales department says it can’t be done”.
REASON 18 “The service department won’t like it”.
REASON 19 “The janitor says it can’t be done”.
REASON 20 “It can’t be done”.
REASON 21 “We don’t have the money”.
REASON 22 “We don’t have the personnel”.
REASON 23 “We don’t have the equipment”.
REASON 24 “The union will scream”.
REASON 25 “It’s too visionary”.
REASON 26 “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.
REASON 27 “It’s too radical a change”.
REASON 28 “It’s beyond my responsibility”.
REASON 29 “It’s not my job”.
REASON 30 “We don’t have the time”.
REASON 31 “It will obsolete other procedures”.
REASON 32 “Customers won’t buy it”.
REASON 33 “It’s contrary to policy”.
REASON 34 “It will increase overhead”.
REASON 35 “The employees will never buy it”.
REASON 36 “It’s not our problem”.
REASON 37 “I don’t like it”.
REASON 38 “You’re right, but…”.
REASON 39 “We’re not ready for it”.
REASON 40 “It needs more thought”.
REASON 41 “Management won’t accept it”.
REASON 42 “We can’t take the chance”.
REASON 43 “We’d lose money on it”.
REASON 44 “It takes too long to pay out”.
REASON 45 “We’re doing it all right as it is”.
REASON 46 “It needs committee study”.
REASON 47 “Competition won’t like it”.
REASON 48 “It needs sleeping on”.
REASON 49: “It won’t work in this department”.
REASON 50: “It’s impossible”.

This list was re-published in one of the very first Fast Company issues by Bill Taylor, in 1993. Twenty years later, in 2013, Bill reflected on this list once again in an HBR article and observed: “the more things change, the more the objections to change remain the same.”

Today, this list seam so real just like when it was documented.

Bill Taylor then suggests a few principles to counter the resistance to change. One of his suggestions was inspired by a quote from Alan Webber:

“Progress is a math formula. It only happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

But then Bill advised:

“That’s why the third principle of change is for leaders to encourage a sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo, to persuade their colleagues that business as usual is the ultimate risk, not not a safe harbor from the storms of disruption.”

I your own opinion are this list still valid in today’s business space?

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