Resistance to change can be helpful to the transition.

Anticipate resistance and address it head on.

If resistance is expressed - this is a good sign because people believe they will be heard and their concerns addressed. It's more difficult when resistance is not expressed and you only identify it as a barrier through observation over time.

Go to the workplace (GEMBA) to observe

One way to understand resistance is to observe the workplace. Treat experts with dignity and respect and ask them how they see the current situation. Inquire as to their pain points - what makes it difficult for them to do their job?

Ask for input on what needs to be changed and how it can be changed. If they've attempted change in the past, find out why it was not successful.

Listen carefully without judgement or criticism and document what they tell you.

Confirm you've documented it correctly and commit to considering their input.

Make sure to run a pilot to test the change and be there with people as they attempt to implement the change. This will ensure you have the credibility to suggest changes as well as the knowledge of what should be prioritized in your implementation plan.

Do NOT overpromise and overcommit

This can be difficult to do as everyone wants to express positivity and action. It's better to document the AS IS condition and ask about what they think the TARGET condition should be. Confirm their input and return frequently to update them on the team's progress. If your change will help address their pain point(s), chances are these people will become your linchpins and help figure out how to fully implement the change.

Watch this video to learn from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

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