Stakeholder Focus Change Management
You can do anything you set your mind to do.
You just can't do it alone.
Take advantage of "resistance to change" to sell (and improve) your solution.
Like "beauty and the beholder," resistance to change is in the "eye of the proposer." The proponent of a change may perceive as resistance what his or her audience considers careful assessment and scrutiny.
Almost every change of substance requires the cooperation, collaboration, and co-ownership of others. It is only by giving the assessment and scrutiny of these stakeholders full consideration that the change can expect full acceptance.
Change Management Requires Selling to Stakeholders
Everyone in an organization is a salesperson, selling his or her ideas, proposals, and recommendations. Even a CEO, president, or owner needs to achieve buy-in of key strategies and tactics from the necessary people if they are to succeed. That success, i.e., the implementation of meaningful improvement in an organization, requires answering three questions: what to change, to what to change to, and how to make the change happen.
Even if an improvement with real potential has been identified by appropriately addressing the first two of these questions, how the third question is dealt with can often make or break the effort. It's not just an issue of technical solutions and project management. It also involves dealing with the "people factor" the dreaded "resistance to change."
The proponent or champion of a solution faces a dilemma. Does s/he spend limited time and attention on refining the details of the solution or on the politics and buy-in necessary for its success? With the belief that a "perfect" solution will minimize resistance, the focus is usually on the former, setting oneself up to be blindsided by what is felt to be unexpected and unreasonable resistance.
Fortunately, it has been shown that resistance to change can be understood in terms of a series of characteristics that consistently and regularly appear.
Peeling the Onion of Resistance
These characteristics these "layers of resistance" each need to be addressed, and like the layers of an onion, once one is dealt with, another often appears. The Stakeholder Focus process utilized by the clients of Focused Performance is based on a set of logical, analytical tools for that are used to both build a solution and to sell it.
These tools, the Theory of Constraints (TOC) Thinking Processes, provide a path through the layers of resistance and actually take full advantage of "resistance to change" of stakeholder scrutiny to not only enhance the solution beyond the original concept, but also assure effective implementation.
Verbalized Intuition Supports Dialogue for Buy-In
The Stakeholder Focus process utilizes these logical "thinking and communication tools" as a coherent problem-solving and change management process. Their purpose is to verbalize one's intuition in a format that can be discussed rationally, questioned without offense, and modified to more fully reflect the understanding of a situation. They are used for the construction of solutions to problems as well as to facilitate communication, collaboration, and consensus among those that must be involved in its resolution.
Whether you are initiating the analysis of a complex issue, or you are trying to implement an existing proposal for which you need the collaboration of others (be they associates, suppliers, or customers), the Thinking Processes and Stakeholder Focus can be used to strengthen it, sell it, and make it reality.