Your Food App and Change
Chick-fila, Subway, McDonalds all have apps and the idea of ordering food on an app is not something I’m interested in doing…at all. In fact, you could say I’m highly resistant to the idea. Why you ask? I don’t understand how I’m supposed to pick up my food in the drive-thru line when I’ve ordered it on my phone or what’s to prevent my order from being stolen off the online ordering shelf in the restaurant’s dining room. Weird I know, but true.
Your food app and all other apps for that matter provide insight into human change behavior. How? First, let me ask you this; do you get excited for the next big change and can’t understand why other people are so “mah” about it? Or maybe you feel the opposite and a wall of resistance goes up when you hear about a new change.
As someone who is change challenged, I find it particularly strange that some people crave it and hop on the proverbial bandwagon without much effort. So, how does the food app factor into all of this? People move through and adopt change at different rates whether it’s a new app or a change in an organization.
To support this idea, change management research company ProSci, indicates that people can be broken down into three types of resistance groups during change:
These are the folks who want change. I always envision these people as the ones who wait in line for hours to buy the new Apple iPhone. These are the people who are the least change challenged or resistant to change. This group is gold if you can figure out how to mine it. More specifically, how do you utilize them as advocates to illustrate the benefits of change, influence others, or demonstrate how the change is positively impacting their job. The key is to involve them early. Early does not mean after implementation, but rather during the change transition. Here’s how to mine the gold with this group:
Interview your team and find the people who are excited about or at the very least comfortable with the new change. As the change process unfolds, utilize these people as change advocates.
Ask these change positive team members to share their view of the change in team meetings or in one-on-one conversations to drive the positives and benefits of change.
Uncertain and Hesitant
These are the “on the fence” folks. Their decision to go with or against a change comes down to how well the change is managed. When I say managed, I don’t mean an email announcing the change and then an another one telling everyone the change has been implemented (not that this would ever happen where you work). With this group it’s important to:
Understand their hesitation and where it’s coming from. Maybe they haven’t liked how previous changes were managed or maybe they have a more specific personal reason.
Work to share the change “why” regularly. Research shows that a person must here a message 5 to 7 times before it is embraced. This does not mean sending 5 to 7 emails, but rather choosing a variety of methods to communicate the change. Even sky writing is not out of the question.
The most resistance folks get a bad rap. They appear to be the folks who are impeding progress, going against the grain, etc., but heavily change challenged folks may help you avoid a few potholes along the change path. For example, they might have a very valid reason as to why this change won’t work. It may impact the process in a way that causes more overtime, or the change may impact when they drop their child off for day care. Here are three ideas to help this group:
Work to understand why they have “dug their heels in.”
Involve them in the change process. It’s hard to resist change when you’re part of the solution.
Bring executives in to share their stories of change and why the current change is important, because people like to hear from top level execs.
While it’s important to have everyone adopt a change, it may not always be possible. Maybe you have heard the phrase 10% of the people cause 80% of the headaches? Therefore, you’ll want to spend the majority of time and effort with groups 1 & 2.
Let’s go back to the food app for a moment. Do you see each of these groups represented in the adoption (or lack thereof) of an app. I know I do, and I fall squarely into the most resistant group. Now do you think marketers are going to spend a lot of time to convert me to a food app user? Most likely not, but they sure will continue to reinforce the early adopters with rewards and influence the hesitant ones with freebies and coupons.
So, the next time your team is involved in a change, ask yourself who is interested in it, who’s not and who’s on the fence. This thoughtful consideration will give insight into the challenges you might face or steps needed as your team transitions into the future state.
Eric Currie is on a quest to coach leaders on how to maximize their team’s emotional relationship to change. This type of connection creates better results and helps them to make a difference in their organization and team. As a certified change practitioner, Eric wants to utilize his experience to make change easier. To learn more and/or download your complimentary “Ready to Go” change articles visit EricCurrie.com.