Everyone has experienced change of some sort – graduating from college, moving to a new house in a new city, starting a position at work. Every week, month, day of the year there is an organization introducing new processes, management, or some sort of change. Change makes people feel some sort of way, excited, upset, worried. While some individuals welcome change, others do not.
In Navigating the Politics and Emotions of Change, those on the receiving end of change are broken down into six categories. The negative skeptics, positive skeptics, cautious fence sitters, indifferent fence sitters, promoters, and sponsors. These categories depict how receptive these individuals are to change. First, there’s the negative skeptics and positive skeptics are not about the change proposed. Negative skeptics are against change for personal and emotional reasons while positive skeptics are against change because they think there are issues with the change. Next, there’s cautious fence-sitters and indifferent fence sitters. Both parties are neutral – they’re not completely in support of the change but they’re also not anti-change. Promoters and sponsors are all about the change. They welcome it with wide open arms. Promoters will speak highly of the change and use their influence to create an environment of positivity. Sponsors will do the work to implement the change. In every organization there are employees who fall into these categories.
Another similar theory is the Diffusion of Innovation Theory in 1962, which shows us the breakdown of how a new idea is spread and adopt throughout society. This theory is popularly used in the field of marketing. It helps There are five categories, innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Just like the six groups of people mentioned earlier fall into the categories of the Diffusion of Innovation Theory.
So when you are implementing an innovated process who should you team with to get everyone on board? Knowing characteristics of each category there are different tactics necessary to get everyone on board.
Auster, E. R., & Ruebottom, T. (2013). Navigating the politics and emotions of change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(4), 31-36. Retrieved from http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/1399095512?accountid=14270
LaMorte, W. (2018). Diffusion of Innovation Theory. Retrieved from http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories4.html