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Digital Transformation

The ABCs of Change Adoption

At this morning’s Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) conference keynote address, New York Times Best Selling Author Daniel Pink gave us insight into the shift in the ABCs of selling.  In the business climate of yesterday, where the sellers had the information and the mantra of “Buyer Beware” reigned, the ABCs for sales folks stood for “Always Be Closing.”

More recently, with all of the data that has become available, buyers have regained the upper hand, and we now live in a world of “Seller Beware.”  In this system, the “new” ABCs are:  Attunement, Bouyancy, and Clarity.

  1. Attunement:  Are we in touch with the other party’s perspective (or is it all about me)?
  2. Buoyancy:  How well do I react to rejection?
  3. Clarity:  Can I make sense of the information available to me?

While Pink geared his comments towards selling, similar thinking (and the same ABCs) can be applied to the Change Management practices and gaining user adoption.

  1. Attunement:  Am I looking at THIS project for what it will mean for THESE users and how it will impact them?  If so, am I gearing my messages, and potentially trainings, to where they are today, or am I following a script that I’ve used on 100 projects before?
  2. Buoyancy:  How will I react when one of my ideas doesn’t work or one of my messages doesn’t land well?  Am I confident enough to bounce back?  Am I brave enough to even try something different?
  3. Clarity:  How am I collecting, and more importantly using, the data (project, cultural, feedback, etc.) data available to me?  Is it just “there,” or am I using it strategically to engage my clients in effective ways?

In many ways, Change Management is all about selling.  Most projects succeed or fail, not on the technology, but on the users’ ability to adopt the new solution.  As Change practitioners, our challenge is squarely before us, and we’d be wise to apply the new ABCs of selling to our engagements to get the successful results we all seek.

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David Chapman

David is the General Manager for Perficient's Organizational Change Management practice, part of the Strategic Advisors Team. He has over twenty years of consulting experience and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Be sure to also check out David’s personal blog. It focuses on collaboratively building the breadth and depth of our collective change management knowledge based on insights and experiences shared to help one another grow.

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