Change management how to deal with peoples different worldviews using CATWOE.
This continues from our previous article looking at dealing with conflict.
With that in mind we still need to bring about institutional change which human nature would naturally oppose. People fear the unknown and relish stability. They also have different life experiences and values so you will always be dealing with hidden agendas. Seeing the world through another’s eyes is one of the easiest and hardest things for human beings to do. Easy, because all it means is to listen. Hard because we never seem to shut up to give others opportunity. This is where using the CATWOE methodology kicks in.
Introduction to the CATWOE method
This is a simple exercise that documents all the different elements that are to be considered when dealing with change in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter. The definitions are highlighted below:
- W, Worldview: Inherited attitudes and perspectives that an individual may hold in relation to place in the environment. This can be a combination of culture, parenting, education, beliefs a whole plethora of elements that make up who that person is and how they function.
- T, Transformation: The proposed change that will impact on that individual’s environment and how they will respond.
- C, Customers: Or consumers those who have a stake in the process and will be impacted by the change. Can be internal or external.
- A: Actors: Facilitate the change. Developers analyst consultants who have been charged with bringing the transformation into being.
- E: Environment. The context upon which the transformation is being embedded.
- O: Owners. Those who have decisive to bring about this change and expect to see a benefit from effort employed.
This combines with out RACI download which maps out all of the stakeholders involved and strategies to deal with them. I suggest you write down the people involved and go through this exercise to highlight where issues may occur then use our RACI download to prioritise your efforts in dealing with the all the different players.
Use with our RACI download.
The chart can allow different perspectives to be mapped according to who is involved and manage those expectations. This help keeps focus and provides a method for taking time out to either allow for people’s differences or deal with them head on to make sure that everyone is eventually on the same page and bring this change into being.
If you document each person worldview and lay them side by side then you start to see the assimilations and where problems may occur. From this you can form a strategy for dealing with human obstacles to the project. In the case mentioned previously I would have lost anyway. Even though the owner wanted the transformation he had relinquished power to his staff member by allowing them to possess specific information and contacts that the owner perceived to be more valuable so he would not force change when a push was required.
Change management ambassadors.
When dealing with intransient people you need the business owner to maybe take disciplinary action or threats to get people on board. That’s not ideal but if a system is mission critical so staff need to be made aware that their job is on the line if they don’t adapt. In my world of software implementation, it’s best if you find someone internal, who has some technical aptitude, to become an ambassador to fight your cause. Staff will often listen more to someone they know who is going to be there after the implementation rather than a fly by night external consultant. Yet it’s not always the geeks who take your side. I have found working with people who fear technology but have a concern to get the job done right, are my greatest allies. If I can prove to them that either the task will be that much quicker or more efficient by pushing just a few buttons, then they start to get some appreciation for what is trying to be achieved.
Keeping people on board.
Taking an example from that job. I had a meeting with some factory hands on how to use the new system. The boss was saying how good it will all be, and I just told them that if they filled everything, they could prove they have completed the task and won’t get blame if anything goes wrong. They liked that idea as is was now in their interest to use it, although the boss did give me an awful stare.
Next how to draft up a plan. The business activity model.
About the Author:
Malcolm Ford has spent over 12 years assisting organisation across the UK with improvements to their software and business efficiencies. He believes there should be just as much effort put into the people on site as the technology being introduced.