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How to win hearts and minds during your business transformation

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Getting your people on board can be the hardest part.

It’s no longer a secret that the toughest barrier to achieving fundamental transformational change is resistance, pure and simple. Research shows that efforts to change the performance of an organisation fail about 70% of the time. And that’s largely because of the natural human instinct to resist change.

At Pipol, we are acutely aware of this. For the past two decades, no matter where in the world we were working on implementations, resistance has occured. Often because organizations tend to overlook the human factor. In recent years, however, we have seen an improvement as more and more project leaders understand the power of resistance, here are therefore some of our tactics that we’ve seen work successfully.

Get inside the mindset of the organisation

Successful transformation leaders make it their business to understand the attitudes of people throughout the organisation and how they need to evolve to enable the sort of broad-scale, fundamental change that’s necessary. They also identify which daily behaviours will need to change to usher in a successful transformation.

Build your story and preach it like gospel

Perhaps your story is a simplified version of your business case. Maybe it’s something that focuses more on how employees will directly benefit. Whatever you decide, make sure your story communicates the value of the change and creates a vision for what a successful transformation looks like – and make sure it resonates with each and every individual you are relying on to carry out the change.

Get the right leadership involved from the beginning

Change only happens if it comes from the top. Make sure to have the right executive ambassadors involved in the project who can model the right behaviours on a daily basis and continuously reinforce the vision of the project and its benefits for everyone in the organisation.

Create rewards and recognition

Your organisation has a system of rewards and recognition that people are used to working towards. Perhaps they receive a bonus for achieving KPIs that will soon be obsolete. The earlier you change this system, the easier the process will be. Create rewards and recognitions that reinforce processes and policies that support the transformation. Everybody makes a choice, every day, about how much effort they will give to the project. This will incentivize them.

Old habits die hard, there’s no doubt about it. Successful leaders make it their mission to win the hearts and minds of everyone in the organisation through thoughtful, clear, consistent communication and relevant, enticing recognition. By involving your people in the right way, even the most resistant can be open and embracing. They may even become the ambassadors of change your project needs to achieve the dramatic spike in performance you’re aiming for.



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