3 Tips To Increase Change Adoption

adoption resistance management Feb 03, 2021

So, you’ve been diligently meeting with stakeholders and analysing your change to figure out what the impacts are to your groups and individuals, and you're *still* getting push back from your stakeholders who feel like you just don't understand their world and their needs.

What's up with that?

In my experience, it's not enough to just understand the impacts of your specific change and *hope for the best* that your stakeholders come along for the ride, that you nail adoption and see change success at the end...

You also have to actively focus on everything else AROUND your silo (i.e., around your change) and in your stakeholder's WORLD.

What are those other things, you ask? Well, that's exactly what this article is all about :)

Read on, and I'm going to introduce you to part of my new Assess The Adoption Battlefield Technique to step out of your silo and lead your change. Sound good? Great!

Here's the first one...

1. Address the 'portfolio view of change'

If you've ever personally been impacted by a change at work and then *another* change has been lumped on your team with little notice, you know how this feels.

A Portfolio View of Change is a general term for the whole high-level summary of what's changing for a particular organisation, group, branch, team etc. 

Have a look at what else is going on at the same time as your specific change for your impacted people so you can be informed about what else is going on in their world. 

Then, demonstrate to your stakeholders that you understand what else is going on... i.e., TELL THEM!

And take any other changes that impact them into account when you are planning your change.

2. Key events and activities

I can say with 100% confidence, without even looking over your shoulder, you're not doing enough to understand the day-by-day workings of all of your impacted groups. This is one of the best ways to demonstrate to your stakeholders that you understand their needs and their WORLD, so get ready to take some notes.

Here are a few things to tickle your brain...

  • When are their internal recurring key meetings, who runs them, and how often? Be interested and investigate their inner workings of how they share information internally (this is very different to how you THINK you should share info with them, but how they ALREADY share info to their teams today)
  • How do they share and celebrate wins? What forums and formats do THEY use? Let's find out and tap into that!
  • What team or organisation events are coming up throughout your change project - formal AND informal - and how does that look against your activity plan? 
For most change practitioners who are getting push back and resistance, deep-diving into your stakeholder's WORLD is the way to go.

3. Culture and behaviour

There are thousands of change practitioners working on change projects without an understanding of the actual culture, social norms, and behaviors of the organisation and people they are trying to deliver change to.

Working in your own culture and behaviour silo is the last thing you want to do. This is a one-way ticket to resistance city. I've lived there! Would not recommend it!

So, start breaking down exactly what the social norms are, and any embedded culture and practices. Apply this to how you are approaching your stakeholders and your change. 

One last piece of advice:

You might think that managing this change you're working on is 100% about you... but it isn't. As with all interactions with your stakeholders and project teams, you want to find a way to make it about your impacted individuals and groups. Because after all, the adoption buck stops with understanding their needs.

And there you go! I hope you implement these three parts of my Assessing The Adoption Battlefield Technique into your change practice this week.


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Hello, I'm Jane Waterson

Founder and Director of Change Management at
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Delta Mash is your go-to resource and lifeline when it comes to managing change. I created Delta Mash to fill a gap globally in the change management industry and supply people managing change with the right on-demand knowledge, tools and strategies that are critical to being successful when managing and delivering change.

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