Does becoming customer-centric mitigate resistance to change?


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I realize I may be setting myself up for some backlash here, but many articles, presentations and dialogues about resistance to change go deep into the weeds in human psychology and behavioral theory – at the expense of acknowledging field-tested, common sense solutions for dealing with change aversion.

For example, when we redesign process to help organizations become customer-centric, we almost always change in place organizational structure. But if the set-up is correct – empowered, cross-functional team backed by top management determining with us what work should be done how and who (functionally) should do it – resistance is relatively low, compared to what we read about up here. And for two simple reasons: 1.) Our goal is adding value to customers, not an internal goal; 2.) We’re changing roles and functions to suit customers rather than assessing individuals.

Most managers and staff readily accept the premise that adding new value to customers is becoming a competitive necessity; and most are far more adaptable when change is driven by customers rather than executives perceived to be interested only in profits.

Simple solutions are often the best solutions.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Yes, change driven from customers is more readily accepted by organizations than that which is dictated by executives. In our quest to become customer-centric, we began by ensuring our core values spelled out this intent clearly. We support and measure the intent with internal objectives including retention rates, satisfaction levels, executive touches, etc. In the end, all these ideas have a positive impact on the top and bottom line. Another smart reason to spend more time listening to customers and, more importantly, acting on what they are saying.


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