You can do a lot to reduce resistance to change, but it is commitment to change that will drive it forward!
  • So how can we motivate people in change and build a commitment to change in individuals?

It is important and important to identify and manage the anxiety and resistance that a change raises, but there is perhaps a greater challenge in also building a commitment to the new, to the change. By building a high commitment to change, it is easier to bring about the sacrifices that all change requires ...
Many experienced change leaders and researchers have developed great ideas and explanatory models for commitment, which are useful in different contexts, depending on the conditions of the change project. Below I have compiled some thoughts and explanatory models that have been useful to me.

Please also read the section "A plan" - which gives suggestions for a general plan for change work


Also feel free to read the compilation of success factors for success with change projects


A list of the factors that builds commitment according to Anders Risling

Anders Risling is a reputable organizational consultant with extensive experience of extensive organizational change. In his research article "Designing a Community of Practice", he highlights the following factors that together build commitment:

Commitment and ownership are built up by a willingness to fight for one's cause when one feels that it is:
  1. Urgent - you can really understand it, it is understandable and urgent / immediate.

  2. Wise - you see that it is rational and how it can be viewed from a larger perspective.

  3.  Attractive - you have a feeling that it is valuable and that this is based on real grounding / experience and genuine values.
  4. Pragmatic - you see that you can use it to streamline your work and that it will lead to good results.
These four factors are necessary for us to feel fully committed, according to Anders Risling.

Aaron Antonovski's three factors for building commitment - Sense of Coherence

Sense of Coherence is a term coined by Aaron Antonovsky, Professor of Medical Sociology at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel.
Sense of Coherence consists of three parts; the experience of comprehensibility, that the required resources are available (manageability), as well as a participation in life's challenges (meaningfulness).
When Antonovsky formulated Sense of Coherence, it was about an individual being in good health if he or she can feel involved in a context that is understandable and meaningful. Sense of Coherence has, however, been used in modern times in other contexts, to summarize the parts needed for a person to come to his right. We believe that it also works when it comes to creating a will to enter into a change:
An individual can overcome his resistance if the change is experienced as
  1. understandable (it is possible to understand the change and its background)

  2. manageable (necessary resources available) and
  3. meaningful (The change is implemented with participation)

John P. Kotter's recommendation for change

A study by John P. Kotter, in which he analyzed change projects at hundreds of major companies and organizations, resulted in the book "The Heart of Change".
He found that successful change work is more often about making people feel and act differently rather than making them think in a new way.
Analyzes and thoughts create clarity and understanding ...
By producing reports or presentations that demonstrate the seriousness of the current situation, analysis of new ways forward, evaluations of initiatives taken, etc., those who see this can be convinced that they are on the right path. This strengthens the ideas that are in line with the successful ones and other ideas can be slowed down or modified. As a result, behaviors are modified.
But… even if a convincing presentation of a correct analysis can make employees understand what a good development is, it is seldom analysis results that engage and encourage people to stand on the barricades for one thing. And in a time of great change, commitment beyond the ordinary is needed from many in the organization.
... but it is aha-experiences and emotions create commitment ..!
By creating startling situations that help recipients get an emotional picture of problems, solutions or success in understanding the seriousness of the current situation, finding new ways forward, encouraging their own initiatives, etc., those who see this can be reached on a deeper level than a presentation of an analysis can. Emotional aha experiences arouse commitment and encourage new ideas that change behaviors or reinforce already changed behaviors.
Commitment to the new thus comes more often through emotional aha-experiences than logical analysis.