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What Looks To Be Resistance Is Lack Of Clarity: How To Change When Change Is Hard


Chip and Dan Heath released a book which explored this idea of inspiring changes despite friction. In this book, Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard there are instructions demonstrated by research and previous experiences.


The Heath brothers suggest that in order to orchestrate change, you have to acknowledge that there are two sides to yourself; the rational and the emotional. The rational side of the brain wants to wake up early and have breakfast at home before the morning commute feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, despite fatigue, while the emotional mind wants to have “five more minutes” in bed, until they’re running late for their train.


Many people turn their nose up at agile transformations, whether they are organisation-wide are just from a plucky team leader who wants to see how something will work. Either way, whether it all starts with the individual, the first person to have the thought. That first raindrop of a thunderstorm.


In order to make changes, you must start with yourself before you begin working with a team, after all, you must lead by example. To begin with, you ought to engage the rational side of yourself; provide yourself, and later your team and colleagues, with clear directions, with positive ideas related to changes illuminated. You must acknowledge what is already working for yourself, for your team and for the organisation, and how these things can be done more often in your workplace.


Following this, the emotional mind will need to be motivated, too. In order to do this, the stages of implementing a change should be minimalised, cut down into digestible and easy to process pieces. This will stimulate the emotional mind, which thrives off immediate gratification. This is the same with your team, work out how to encourage them to feel the same way about making a change in the workplace. By motivating more people, encouraging them that a new way of working would be more rewarding should start the slow process of a drizzle becoming a downpour.


Behaviour is contagious, like Pavlov and his dogs, rewarding the desired behaviour with praise will inspire others to follow suit. By demonstrating that some of the colleagues who have potentially adopted the change faster than others, are being held in high esteem should encourage those who are still resisting that they really are on the right path, and motivate them to continue to strive toward the new desired behaviour. This kind of process would certainly be supported by Jay Wilkinson who identified in his video, Jay Wilkinson: Company Culture that the “cause [of] 95% of all the problems in every company … [are] these people [that] are high level performers but they don’t live the values of [a] company; they’re like a cancer, eating away at the culture of our business” .


Having done this, your team should slowly but surely adopt the changes you wish to see. Just as Simon Sinek said “be the leader you wish you had”



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.


He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.


The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.


To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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