4 Action Plans to Address Resistance to Change | Managed Change™ Insights
Does Your Organization Have Them All?
The LaMarsh Global Managed Change™ Methodology lists four action plans to address potential or existing resistance to change. If you have attended a change management learning event of ours over the years, you know what they are:
- Communicate what the Targets of change need to know so they can make an informed choice to support or resist the change.
- Develop a comprehensive learning plan that includes not just the time spent in training but allows for the time it will take to practice and become facile in using the new tool or following the new procedure.
- Build recognition for effort and for successful change into the implementation plan.
- Identify where there is a need for sponsor coaching and/or training and build a plan to address this need.
Does Your Organization Have the Right Sponsors and Know When to Apply These Plans?
Two common questions face change management practitioners: how much of these plans do we need to use? And when do we begin?
Basically, the question is: how much time and effort need to be spent on each of these activities? The answers usually reside in solid change management through accurate data collection. Truly listen to the project team, the vendors who sold you the software or process improvement solutions, and even other companies who have already been down this implementation path to determine the amount of time and energy that needs to go into training, adoption and scheduling. Take the time to listen to the Targets and find out what they need to know. Also listen to Sponsors and other Change Agents to find out how willing all of the relevant groups are and if Sponsors will be able to play their roles.
Remember, always discuss how each of these plans relates to each other. Maybe this picture will help:
Communication occurs throughout the life cycle of the project, though the message changes as specific resistance issues are dealt with.
Learning schedules are tied to the project implementation schedule but are closely aligned to messaging. So when learning events occur the ‘why, what and how’ are well understood by Targets before they begin training.
A well-planned reward/recognition system is in place to follow training so there is a mechanism for observing the first attempts to try the new way. The system goes into action with the first successful accomplishments, no matter how crude.
It does usually take a while to learn the strengths and weaknesses of Sponsors throughout sponsor development but the process calls for structure and discipline early. Coaching often goes on well into the implementation of the change, but if you are still having to shore up sponsorship as you get close to the desired state, sustainment of your change could be in jeopardy. At that point, you should pause to take a close look at what to do about the people who are your Sponsors and their roles within the overall development plan.
These four change plans do not exist in isolation. Please keep this in mind as you lay out your efforts.