In this post I will respond to the following question:
Shepherd suggests that people don’t resist change, but do resist being changed. What strategies do you employ to help people buy into/embrace changes?First of all I think it is important to realise that change is not something that happens over night. It's a process in which you have to allow time to let the change sink in.
By creating a clear change plan involving all the different stakeholders/groups it's easier to see when and how to involve them in the change. In my world communication is the key, especially in the beginning of a project. Many times you hear about a project when it starts and then you hear nothing until they start to roll out their solution. This is not the way to go, it's better to have an open and transparent project where people can follow the project and by the time it's time to roll out people are well aware of what's coming.
I would like to give a little anecdote on how things can go completely wrong if you hit people with a change like a strike from Mohammad Ali's uppercut.
A couple of years ago I worked in a company in the mobile phone industry. In January we were briefed about a new IT-system that we should use to report travel expenses. They showed how the tool worked and talked about how fantastic this tool was. Then they added that there were trainings that we could sign up for. These trainings would start in March and there would be sessions all the way until summer so everyone would definitely have the chance to sign up for a training.
At this point everything was ok, but when someone asked: "So when will we start using this system?" it all went down the drain. The answer was "Today!".
This is NOT the way to handle change. And I can honestly say that still after more than one year using this system I still hear daily complaints about it. We were thrown into the change and we will not accept it, ever. Unfortunatelly for the project they forgot to invite my department to the project. I am confident that if they had done so the outcome would have been completely different, as we would never have accepted their approach to handling change.
Thanks for reading,