You're reading...
Change Management, Facilitation

The Adoption Curve: an alternative to Stakeholder Mapping?

One of the models I use to describe how individuals react to change is the “Normal Curve” which attempts to categorise types of behaviour seen when change is introduced:

This, of course, is a variation on, and alternative way of describing,  the well-known marketing new-product adoption model proposed by Rogers.

It tells you that some people will be more enthusiastic about change than others (obviously!), but is also useful for discussing ways to engage with the different types of people. For example, devoting time to “Early Adopters” is a great way to ensure you achieve some quick wins. In contrast, spending time with terrorists and blockers can be both time-consuming and unproductive. Somebody described spending time with this group as being like “mud-wrestling with a pig; you both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it”.

I was speaking with a client recently and he told me how he had been using this model (which I had introduced in a Leadership workshop) to help with stakeholder relationship management.

Instead of using the more conventional Power and Interest 4-box mapping framework, he had worked with his team to position their stakeholders on the Normal Curve. They did this prior to a critical workshop where the stakeholders would be introduced to some proposed changes (improvements). Their analysis led them to identify how each individual might be engaged in the improvement process and the sorts of conversations that would be necessary. They were then able to have one-to-one conversations, prior to the workshop, so that some pre-briefing and “lobbying” could be done ahead of the event. For example, with some of the known resistors, he was able to say “I know you may not agree, but I need you on-side with this”; openly confronting their potential challenges.

He said the model proved to be remarkably useful and accurate. It enabled the team to head off potential problems and also to identify conversations and behaviours during the workshop so they could modify their approach accordingly. For example, looking out for the reactions of the “wait and see” people in the workshop enabled them to keep focusing on how to make the changes work, rather than dwelling on its potential pitfalls.

If you’re looking for a slightly different angle on Stakeholder Engagement, the Normal Curve might just be a useful starting point and it’s a bit different to the usual 4-box matrix!

Read about my favourite Change Models.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

Advertisements

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Connect with Ian Seath

Find us on Facebook Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. on LinkedIn Follow IanJSeath on Twitter

Archives

Copyright Notice

© Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. and Ian Seath, 2007-17. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. and Ian Seath with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: