How to stay motivated when change resistance is high

Some days are brighter than others when you are responsible for leading a change or managing a change. Every day is not a bed of roses, easy to get plans approved, sponsors on board, time with leaders. Some projects are easier than others. There are those where you might score a fantastic sponsor who works with you, listens and you collaborate on how to transform a department or organisation. Then there are those which are hard, and resistance is high. 

Some of the better ones that change managers LIKE to work on, (as resistance will often be low to non-existent):

  • New incentive programs where staff are offered more.
  • Creative culture design programs where you work with organisations to design the culture they want and you play a role in bringing it to life.
  • New products or processes that really see a tangible benefit to customers and allow for upskilling teams as well.

And then there are the changes that are not so exciting where resistance is high, however they are changes...

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The gift of the so called 'whinger'

Now this may not be a term used world wide, but in Australia a 'whinger' is someone who will complain about something endlessly. In the world of change, a whinger can be your best asset.

Someone who objects to the change provides a number of opportunities to anyone willing to listen:

1) They challenge your 'why'. Sometimes we try to 'sell' a change into the business and sometimes the 'why' isn't hitting the mark. You want your 'why' to engage hearts and minds. You soon know if that isn't the case when there is a 'tough crowd'. Your 'why' just needs to be better.

2) They tell you whether your detailed impact assessment is accurate. If you listen well enough to someone who is objecting to the change you will realise that you may not have assessed all of the impacts accurately. You may even want to engage the most vocal person in the room to better understand those impacts.

3) Often they can also be your biggest advocate. I can't tell you how many times the so called 'trouble...

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