From my experience and learning, resistance to change comes from lack of skill or lack of will and to determine which of the two is the starting point for neutralizing resistance. I read this interesting article from HBR which focuses more on how managers can positively use resistance to change. While a proper change management plan will normally identify and adress upfront potential issues (see here how you can assess upfront your change capacity) brought by the change for each stakeholder group, this is also the demonstration that confronted with resistance, it is never too late to turn things around.
I like the idea of turning resistance into something positive and eventually in fact avoiding the term “resistance” and rather talk about feedback. And so I would add to the HBR article, that the very first step is to actually use your senses to get this feedback: hear and watch. The change curve is an excellent tool to decode the behaviors encountered and the stakeholder mapping model provides an excellent framework to visualize how your stakeholders feel about the change and what you can do about it (check the stakeholder mapping in the free tools section).
This post is also available in: French