No WIIFM? No Support. 5 Tips for Buy-in During Difficult Change

“This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”

We had just announced a critical shift in the way projects are catalogued. For years the business had been applying a numbering system that included year, cost center, project type and other critical information. With a glance at that number, documents could be quickly filed and invoices approved and allocated with lightning speed.

However, the numbering structure was inconsistent throughout the company and required significant manual work and system customization to support. There were considerable costs that would be unsustainable in a growing company.

No one cared. The new approach applied a sequential number to each project, removing all ‘information’ they used to accelerate processes. Stakeholders could only perceive the cost to them, and they were right. The potential benefit to the company did not compare with how much the new system would slow them down.

These types of changes are common. People have to learn new systems because the old one is no longer supported. New products and services demand new structures. Restructuring puts extra pressure on certain aspects of the business. Controls and regulation mean slower work.

Successful change management relies on clear stakeholder benefits. What do you do when there are none?

Read the complete article in change management’s newest online magazine: