Dr. Jim Maddox logo

Embracing Resistance to Change:

Facilitating Change Differently Through the Paradox of Resistance

Embracing Resistance to Change

“… a call for emotionally intelligent leadership … a practical book of models and techniques to enrich your change management tool box!”   

— Diana Whitney, Ph.D., author, The Power of Appreciative Inquiry

“ Very readable and very thought-provoking!” 

— Linda Ackerman Anderson, Ed.D., author, Beyond Change Management and The Change Leader’s Roadmap

“Written in a highly readable style, yet grounded in research, Embracing Resistance to Change should be required reading for all change agents!”

— William L. Sparks, Ph.D., Dennis Thompson Chair and Professor of Leadership, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte, author of Actualized Leadership

“Jim’s book falls into that sweet spot between a long and dense text book too complicated to make sense of, and a short how-to article with no theory to back it up.”  

— Matt Minahan, Ed.D., The Minahan Group 

A Renaissance of Change—Embracing Resistance

What if, hidden just beneath the surface of resistance to change lies valuable symptoms and clues—just like in the field of medicine—leading to a deeper diagnosis and a path to robust health and growth.

Leaders and organization development practitioners who embrace positive approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry and World Café will find this book dovetails with those methods. Both internal and external change agents can learn to identify an organization’s strengths and lead change with compassion and courage, a sense of justice, authenticity and responsibility — with expansive results for the organization and organization members.

With a blend of compassion, wit and practicality Jim brings his decades of experience to crafting a book that is a useful tool, full of checklists for organizations in the throes of managing change, and packed with inspiring stories and examples. Facilitating change differently through the paradox of resistance is a concept that can ultimately be applied not only to organizations, but to ourselves and our entire communities.

The Unpredictability of Complex Adaptive Systems

Is it possible to systemize the complex non-linearity of real-world organizations, the unintended consequences, the variation inherent in human behavior? With the Change Resistance Paradox Model defined by Jim Maddox, Ph.D., the answer is a resounding yes! Working seamlessly with other time-tested models such as Kotter, Lewin and Weisbord, this flexible model brings a laser focus to the knots of resistance wherever they are found, leverages positive resistance and proactively avoids or jettisons unhealthy resistance.

Tips for Change Agents

• Humans are hard-wired for both change and sameness.
• Change is first and foremost an emotional process and not a cognitive one.
• Resistance can look different at various stages of the process.
• When strategy and culture collide, culture always wins.

About the Author

Jim Maddox, Ph.D., is an OD consultant, speaker and full-time professor at the University of Arkansas. He’s passionate about helping individuals and organizations experience life to the fullest while engaging in positive, transformational change. On the faculty of the University of Arkansas Jim serves as assistant teaching professor and graduate program coordinator for the Human Resource and Workforce Development program.

Early in his career as a consultant in organizational development, Jim felt like something was missing. He noticed instances where healthy resistance could have been encouraged and leveraged. There were missed opportunities to avoid unhealthy resistance. And so he has spent the last three decades refining the Change Resistance Paradox Model. His current focus centers on facilitating transformational change in developing communities and organizations and exploring the construct of resistance to change.