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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
April 16, 2010

Often we hear about engaging the hearts and minds of those stakeholders in an organizational transformation. As we look to adopt a new way of working we have to get people to commit on an emotional level and on an intellectual level. Once you have the heart and mind committed, the individual must have the skill to function on a new level. The question to be answered is "Under what conditions will individuals accept and adopt this change?"

The commitment to adopt the new technology, process, or even staff member is the will to try.

Common Contributors to engage a willingness to adopt are:

  • Advocating Leaders - The leaderships constant and continuous affirmation and advocacy for this change will help cascade the need and desire with colleagues. If leadership doesn't advocate for the new way, there is a slim chance the grass roots campaign will take hold for the long term.

  • Resonating Messages - The messages need to stick and be accepted. These messages should be well tuned for an emotional engagement into the reason for the change.

  • Constructive Reinforcement - Assures proper rewarding of adoption and a well measured stick for those needing prompting on the path

  • Collaborative Engagement - Engaging the community to adopt the change by providing venues for insights, collaboration and suggestions.

  • Motivating the Inert - There needs to be a clear picture of the benefits which is greater than the effort to change. The path of least resistance and a clinging familiarity of we have always done it this way bring inertia to adopting changes. Have a plan to motivate through the inertia.
  • Developing new abilities - There is an old tale of 3 blind men and the elephant. The 3 blind men want to "see" an elephant. So the pharaoh brings in the elephant, and the three blind men touch it to understand the elephant. After wards the pharaoh comes back, and asks the blind men to describe an elephant. One says that an elephant is a long narrow leathery beast. Another says the elephant mimics a tree but smoother. The last man says an elephant is slick conish shape coming to a long point. In other words, they only got their piece and not the whole elephant. The same comes learning new skills, it takes time to learn all the pieces and parts.

If you enjoyed this entry, please check these others on organizational change:

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