4 advanced change strategies you can use on people who refuse to change


If you play a role in helping your organization make changes, you probably have a toolbox of change strategies you know work.  Sometimes however, people stubbornly resist change.  We all know these situations – they become dinner-table topics as we vent our day’s frustrations, but they also provide the challenges that motivate us to flex our change-agent muscles.  To help you overcome situations where people are proving tough to sway, here are 4 change strategies to keep in your back pocket:

  1. Share your own journey of understanding the importance of customer experiences.  A couple tips: first, make sure your message is well thought out story, not off-the-cuff.  Second, consider using video so the message can be delivered in-mass, but with an individualized level of engagement.
  2. Indirectly influence through their network.  How much of your thinking is defined by your manager and company communications vs. other colleagues or informal mentors?  If you are like most people, many of your opinions and behaviors are significantly influenced by colleagues and informal mentors.  This strategy involves taking an organized approach to understanding who influences a person that must change, and using these influencers to motivate the targeted person to change.
  3. Pair “bright spots” and “dark spots”.  These are fully developed positive (aka “bright”) and negative (aka “dark” stories) designed to move people to change.  There are however two things you must incorporate for this to work: First, the story must share how the company was tied to a deep life experience of the customer.  It must clearly tie to something the company did or did not do.  Second, your bright spots should model the best of what is possible today as a motivator that fuels discussion about what the business should do going forward and the results that might be possible.
  4. Guided self-discovery.  Are your behaviors influenced more by stories other people have told you or stories that are your own life experiences?  It’s a no brainer – your own experiences define who you are.  Guided self-discovery is about leveraging the influence of our own experiences.  When you apply guided self-discovery, people who are struggling to change should go through a scenario that is realistic, but controlled by you, so they can experience advantages to making the change.

Have you used these strategies or do you have your own advanced techniques to share?  Feel free to comment below.

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