Fear of the unknown is the number one reason for change resistance. People like to feel safe in their comfort zone. Safety in the status quo is an illusion, but it doesn’t matter. It feels normal, so everything must be fine.
When people are resistance to change, forcing them to move forward creates resentment and reduces your chances for success. There are two reactions when presentations begin with “this will change the way we do business forever”. The first is skepticism. The second is resistance. Not your standard “I don’t think this will work” kind of hesitancy, but dig your heels in like my grandfather’s mule on a cold day refusal to move. And, the more you encourage, plead, cajole, or beg, the less likely the success.
So why do most change agents start with the big plan?
They can see the benefits because they have been working toward them for months. They have taken the baby steps, worked out the kinks, and are ready to go. All they need now is a complete implementation before they take their bows.
If you want successful change, everyone involved has to go through the baby steps. It is a systemic process that allows people to adapt to the new environment as they go. Telling them the final destination is okay as long as you don’t overload them with the details.
Every change initiative begins with just one thing. If you are leading your team, start with the step that is easy to explain, implement, and measure. It’ll make it easier to sell the next one.
Note: Just One Thing is a new category in the Multichannel Magic blog. It focuses on one step that leads to improved management and processes. If you have ideas for it, please share by commenting below or emailing me email@example.com.