The Yays, No-Way-Josés and the Sways in change

When faced with change all of us split into one of three camps. I call these the Yays, the No-Way-Josés and the Sways.

The Yays

The Yays are the poster boys and girls of change. They embrace the change. And, best of all they embrace it visibly. They become change agents and push the initiative forward. They use their hierarchical authority as well as their social network to influence the change positively.

The No-Way-Josés

At the other end of my change adoption continuum lie the No-Way-Josés. Former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, once famously said “Turn if you want to. This woman’s not for turning.” Similarly this group of employee will not consider participating in the change at any cost. Consciously or not they have just begun an exit strategy.

The Sways

Lying in the middle of these two poles are the Sways. They are hesitant about the change. It is probable that of the three groups the Sways will need the most of a change manager’s time and attention. The good news is that the Sways’ change management ‘vote’ can be secured with effective change management skills. They just need a reassuring ‘nudge’ in the right direction.

Don’t expect the groups to be evenly distributed either. The size of each group will depend on many inputs such as the size, type and personal impact of change.


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