Let’s face it: driving change is hard! When you truly start to encounter resistance at what seems like every turn, it is critical for your sanity (and that of the entire change team), to maintain perspective and try to find the humor in the challenges you are facing.
I was recently called upon to present the change I was driving to the audience who most needed to embrace the change. My co-owner proposed that we add a bit of humor to what would otherwise be a dry presentation… not only for our own sakes, but to also lighten the mood of the meeting up front, before we got into the heart of the tough change we were asking these people to make (and that they just didn’t want to do).
We decided to use David Letterman’s top 10 list approach: the top 10 excuses we have heard why people won’t (or can’t) adopt the change:
10. My dog ate my current state documentation
9. I might need the old process again someday, just as it is
8. I think we already changed enough
7. I don’t have time to change
6. Change is your job; I’ve moved on
5. I didn’t know I owned the process that needs to change
4. No one told me we need to change
3. We don’t change processes here
2. Change is not a priority
And the #1 excuse why people won’t (or can’t change): Based on the most recent reorganization, there are no people left in the company who even have the knowledge to change this process.
Granted, now that we wrote the list down, we do have to address this employee feedback head-on, through our communication plan, deployment strategy, and communities of practice. And, we need to ensure our sponsor is doing her/his part to reinforce the messages about the need for change and the role changes required to support the vision for the future.
Hopefully, our “top 10 excuses” will help spark your team’s creativity (and encourage persistence) when you come face to face with the resistance and what it will mean to make the change “real” for your organization!