Change isn’t hard and if I hear one more person at a conference on user adoption say it is, I might just scream!

Change isn’t hard, doing what someone else wants that isn’t in alignment with your values and beliefs is. What do I mean by this?

If you WANT to do something you will. You will find a way. All too often we start with all the ways we should support people going through change by telling them why we are doing a system upgrade or why they “should” lose weight but that is all about us “telling”. We offer training and programs but we haven’t really motivated or persuaded them to really want to make a change. Most of the time the reason someone doesn’t want to change is because they are comfortable. This is the most basic need in Maslows heierarchy, security. But that is good news! Because it is the lowest level, it is also the level most likely to be filled in various areas of their life and in the most ways. What do I mean by that?

Think of it this way, if you have a house to sleep in your security is better than someone who doesn’t know where they are going to sleep that night. If you have a good little nest egg saved up your worries about getting laid off are a little less but if you don’t have these things your attention must be spent finding security. It is like the analogy of a “Love tank” in a relationship. The fuller it is, the more withdrawals you can make without going bankrupt. It’s the same with security. The more safe people feel the more likely they are to adopt a change. This is why it’s important to look at people’s personal circumstances as well as the amount of changes and uncertainty going on in the organization before undertaking any new initiative.

Once you build a culture of support and safety you have to ensure you are not pushing your wants and desires onto others. In religion we call this Bible Thumpers yet in business it is often seen as completely acceptable to dictate or mandate our beliefs and desires on our employees. It takes a little longer to ask them what they want but getting them to buy in will result in much better user adoption. So that is what I do these days… I facilitate sessions to help executives find out what their users WANT and then help them craft strategies that drive what they WANT and in turn I get what I WANT, a world where people no longer believe that change is hard! Win, win, win!!

Happy changing!

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