Making Change Stick

So I just moved house and have been having that frustrating first week wondering where I put things.

Each day as I work through my muddled state and reconfirm where I have stored tea bags, or if my towel is on the left or right, and remind the kids and husband constantly where the bread is, I am trying to embed new behaviours. I am learning the nuances of this new house and making all the new ways stick.

It’s kind of funny being in this situation considering the work that I do. My husband joked yesterday that I had “ADKAR’d” the hell out of this”. I joked maybe a lunch time Pop-Up in the kitchen or Live Q&A would help reduce the timeline on him constantly asking where is the coffee or resolving his confusion when putting dishes away. And don’t get me started on the kids locating their socks and shoes in that critical last 5 mins to get ready for school. Man my household sounds like a mess!

So how do we make it stick?

There’s a big difference between a Go-Live and what you can do in the months following to really drive long lasting change.

Sure, focus on the implementation. Analyse personas and use cases, create awareness and lead up comm’s, designing the way of working and running training. But I have always pushed for project closure going well beyond the enablement of Office 365 services.

What are my value ad’s?

To keep this quick and not labour on the method and detail, here are a couple of my non-negotiables:

Deep Dive sessions in key business areas

You can achieve a lot with generic detail. Everyone can get value out of learning OneDrive or Teams and attending sessions, but you must then find the outliers or the deeper use cases to drive deeper learning and engagement.

Increase widespread knowledge on the Apps and then take time to help areas of the business establish what is their Office 365. How will they use Teams or sites, or enhance communication.

Pop-Ups or Q&A sessions

Face to face time really drives rapid change. Much of the work I have done has shown people just wanted someone to talk to. Many companies are pushing for ‘self-learn’ strategies however it doesn’t take a lot of budget to run 1–2 hour sessions a few times a week and gradually reduce over time. Training gets you started in the tool, ongoing face to face gives the opportunity to build confidence and grow, enhancing use more broadly across the organisation.

Ongoing Retrospectives

Stop asking people “do you have any questions?” and instead ask “what are your questions?” or even, “what are you confused about”. I love using the Agile Retrospective or even the great ‘Ropes & Fuel’ activity to dive deeper into the problems even months post go-live. Discuss what is holding them back from enhancing further and try to remove those obstacles.

So these are a couple of key types of sessions I run to drive growth ongoing and build confidence in users across Office 365. Have the communication, build awareness, ADKAR the hell out of it. Then keep going.

I know dollar signs are the next thought you have when I say that. You can be strategic though. It’s amazing how you can spread time. Take a workshop or a showcase and repeat hour blocks over weeks or months and you can really drive user support, guidance and build their confidence.

I am currently repeating collaboration essentials and retros at one organisation to drive understanding and sweep up the users who didn’t get it the first time. Helping the quiet ones who didn’t speak up first lifts organisational wide ways of working and in the end helps everyone.

And with a bit of luck one day this week I will locate the coffee first time and not be muddled after all!

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