Mitigating Change Management Anxiety

From my latest client and reading several case studies focused on change management, governance and business adoption cemented my view that a Office 365 Change Management strategy is necessary in order to successfully deliver a suite of tools that will ultimately alter the way colleagues interact with each without creating fear and anxiety.

In order to maximise Return of Investment (ROI), medium and large organisations must ensure smooth and successful business adoption through empowering users to become deeply proficient in their operational roles. There is a critical point in any deployment where a path of success (or failure) depends upon a few key decisions and actions..

Change Chasm

By identifying who are the Innovators and Early Adopters (EA) will help promote and encourage a positive crossing of the change chasm and inspire both Early Majority (EM) and Late Majority (LM) users. These people are positive thinkers, tech savvy and excited about change. You also want to select Team Leaders and Executive/Senior Leadership Team Members whom will sponsor and buy in to your programme.

Then you have the Laggards; stereotyped as against change or preventing the change from happening for whatever reason. Don't worry this is perfectly natural but with the right mentoring and guidance from their trusted counterparts, this mitigates anxiety and fear by fostering ownership and engagement. Leaders need to recognize that Organizational change cannot occur overnight, nor can one simple meeting solve every issue. It’s a journey from one identity to the other, and that takes time.


Prosci ADKAR is a goal-oriented change management model to guide individual and organisational change and brings successful business adoption and cultural change to any IT Change & Transformation. The main advantage to this model is that it allow users to see their professional lives in a different light - changing their images of the future and the plans nurtured over a lifetime.

Awareness for change is your business case of why you are doing this project and generating interest in your deployment. You can provide this using Internal Communications, Lunch & Learns (& communicating these events), Marketing & PR your programme, awareness through social media, flyers/posters, screen savers, internal forums, freebies, creating your powerpoints using the technology, creating internal broadcasts, videos and podcasts with leadership and champions and surveys.

Desire is grabbing your users attention because they will want to know 'Whats' in it for me?' formally known as WIIFM. You can create this desire by Coaching, obtaining sponsors and most of all by thinking of what the end goals are. Does the business need smarter meetings? On the Fly emails & documents? Co-Creation/Sharing of documents? Or do you want to break down those siloes by creating Enterprise Social. By establishing your goals you can then align and plan them with different user types i.e. Exec's, PAs', Tech Savvy's, Communications & Marketing Gurus etc.

Knowledge and Ability is about the how, what to change and make incremental changes on a daily basis. Even if it was to grab your Chief Exec for 10 minutes of every day to put a Yammer post - it gets users exploring and increasing their ability to your new technology. You can also use New and Existing Videos, Training Guides, functionality show & tell especially to those that need more hand holding.

And lastly is the reinforcement which is about ensuring your business knows why to continue. You can do this by measuring your success based on ADKA parameters on a regular basis.


Lastly your deployment must appear EAST. Easy. Attractive. Social and Timely. By ensuring you have WIIFM goals that appear EAST you cannot go wrong.

If you believe the above sounds like you or you need consulting, guidance, project management on O365 Delivery, Business Adoption and Change Control please contact Jurix Digital today on how we can help you.

#O365 #Cultural Change #Change #Microsoft #ChangeAnxiety #Change Management #ADKAR #InnovationAdoptionLifecycle #EarlyAdopters #EarlyMajority #LateMajority #Leggards #ROI #ReturnofInvestiment #Office365 #LegalTech

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