This question was discussed during the second meeting of The Change Management Platform NL.

A successful session in collaboration with Anne Kloosterboer.

Anne Kloosterboer is the author of the book De Notenkraker (to be published Q2 2020), in which she outlines a solution for 40 recognizable change dilemmas. Anne is an experienced Change Manager, has experience with organizations such as FrieslandCampina and has been a columnist in the FD. Attached is a selection of 3 change dilemmas that she tackles in her book. Do you recognize them?

1. Building a stronger belief

You thought everyone was on board, but now you’re facing skepticism about the necessity again. What now?

The question that arises is: what helps to build a stronger belief? No matter how powerful you think your story is, it won’t resonate with every individual. Is it really necessary? Can’t it wait? These kinds of questions keep popping up.

No one can put more precision and credibility behind your message of change than the customer. These can be external as well as internal customers. Especially in larger organizations, you see that unfiltered customer feedback is not heard by everyone. Make this audible and tangible. This is how you build deeper belief.

2. It has to happen now

What can you do to make it clear that waiting longer and delaying is not an option?

This an acute question in the current times where people are constantly fed with stimuli. Especially when habituation has occurred. Encouraging action in the here and now is difficult. How do you break through?

To get attention and maintain it for something that people are already accustomed to often requires a symbolic, powerful intervention that touches people. For example, expose management teams to an experience that directly exposes the sore spot, such as the confrontation with 300 product-market combinations that the organization offers, while the market only asks for 10 variants. Make sure you choose when to use this intervention, as it cannot be too frequent, or else you will lose the trust of the organization and it will become a management trick.

3. People are stuck in their beliefs

How do you change stubborn beliefs?

Changing ingrained beliefs is often the most difficult. Every organization has unique unwritten rules and beliefs. For example: “You’re a hero here if you put out fires with decisiveness” or “Sales is in charge.” Beliefs that have been built up over the years and are continually reinforced are difficult to change. How do you break through?

No matter how difficult it is to break through, it is often crucial. These unwritten rules are the cause of death for many change initiatives. Investigate which unwritten rules and beliefs actually apply. Then, you can make them transparent and discussable and apply a targeted set of interventions. The iceberg tool helps to uncover the underlying reasons for specific behavior of an individual, team or organization

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