Episode 125

Eliminating Resistance to Change by Creating an Experience

July 26th, 2023


In creating an experience in our business, we must consider all elements and people involved, and that they sometimes come with levels of resistance. In today’s episode, I’m talking about creating a container to support our business, our clients and our people to eliminate the resistance to change that will help everyone transition smoothly.

We dive into:
  • Being continuously innovative
  • Handling uncertainty
  • Leaning in to opportunities
  • Elements of successful change

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Welcome to Take Control With Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Operations Specialist and Systems Designer from The Artisans Business Solutions, and welcome to Take Control With Nicole. This week, we are going to lean right on into a topic that I have come across multiple times when we’re supporting businesses of all sizes to transition through to the new. So, we’re going to be looking at how we can really eliminate resistance to change by shaping and experience. But first of all, why is it important that we can actually create that container to support our clients, our teams, our businesses, our whoever is involved in this process to eliminate that resistance to change. So, when we’re looking and you’ve probably been in a situation like this before, when there is a new way of working, be it a new process, be it a new piece of tech, be it that the business is changing directions, and we’re now going to be servicing and offering something that’s slightly different to before.

You may have been a new experience where change was managed beautifully. You were part of the experience, you were part of the journey, you really understood why these shifts were happening in the business. However, more often than not, the experience is actually that of information that’s not aware, you’re told this is what’s happening. No whys, no what, how’s, anything like this, this is what’s happening, this is what’s expected. And as of this date, this is the way that we are moving forward. Now I can understand from global organizations standpoint, that part of the decision making process for any additional shifts or ways of working is made from a strategic directional point of view. So that C Suite leadership team is making these decisions that are aligning with points of the journey, points of data that really make educated decisions, why we’re shifting from A to B.

But this really can be and I encourage it to be a consultative approach for the people that are in the day-in-day-out using these systems to really enhance that new way of working. So why is it important? Why can we really lean into this change and supporting our teams and our people to really enjoy this new transition. So, adaption and innovation is a really key one. And so in the business space, in any space, in the space of technology, right now, AI is a Hot As Trot, it’s being spoken about everywhere. It’s the new hot topic. So, things are just evolving so quickly, that a lot of business owners have not yet even connected in with this function of AI as this new term, that has been around for a while, by the way, just looking at it in a different perspective, it’s now focused in on what can be, and all of a sudden you try and connect in and you’re swept up in this journey of what it is. And you’re already behind the pace because somebody else has already had that few months ahead of you.

So really, when we’re looking at this resistance to change point of view, what is important for you, as a business owner to be have your finger on the pulse around? And what is it that you know, actually is your core functional areas of working that is still sustainable in the ways that you’re supporting you and your business to grow, but also is innovative, continuously in the ways of working in how you’re evolving your tech, you may have a custom design database. So really creating those partnerships with your developers and your teams, your database owners to keep continually improve the ways in the functionalities that they’re working.

We really want a smooth transition whenever we’re moving from A to B, something new is coming in place as a project team, as an innovator of new. You’ve already invested a lot of energy and thought into why this is the best solution for your business, so we want to be able to support the transition in a really smooth way.

So, introducing new systems, new processes, new strategies, really involves the coordination of all the people in the business, who are actually doing the doing, who are involved in the day-to-day operations of said area that we’re looking to evolve. And being able to really bring them on that journey, as we’ve mentioned before, that will start to really create this smooth transitional experience. It’s gone from, ‘you must do this’, to, ‘this is what we’re doing, this is why, this is your part on this journey. And we really value your input in making this transition or supporting this transition to be as beautiful and as seamless as possible’.

Another really big one that we’ve just touched on it is really engaging our teams and our employees. Change can bring up a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings of uncertainty of why, why am I bringing in this new tech, is my role going to be replaced? Is it going to be so efficient that all of a sudden, I’m redundant? Now, that’s a whole other conversation that we can look at diving into later on. But this is a really important part of the change management process. You are dealing with people, people who are in your business, who have supported you and your business from the day one potentially, or come in at a period of time of growth, whatever it might be, your people, your humans, are a really important part of your business and where it’s going, regardless of the size. And so being able to really support them on this journey of change, where we’re looking at why again, and engaging them in this process will really help to boost morale to make them feel surrounded and supported. And actually at an overall change management point of view, support the reduction of the resistance, that’s a big few words to say, reduction of the resistance of our change process.

Now when in a business, you may be at a point that you’re feeling beautifully in the right spot, the right size, you might be solopreneuring, just working on your own business with your own set of clients. And that is the structure that you want. However, if you’re a business looking to grow, to scale to whatever it might be, to have so many team members, to be working with a certain level of clients, then growth is a factor and a focus for you. With growth comes change. With growth comes new ways of working, with growth comes an elevated experience for you and your business, or you have the opportunity to have an elevated experience. Now to eliminate that, again, that resistance to change. We want to be really leaning into how can we evolve this experience to make it better? How can we really lean into our ways of working to evolve the current status quo, or this current way of working to continually be competitive in our industries. Now, when I say competitive, I’m not meaning look over what Fred’s doing and go, ‘Oh, I’ve got a copy that.’ Being competitive in a way that makes your business enjoyable to be in, that it’s sustainable in the way that you’re operating, that your team are feeling supported, that your team are feeling like this growth journey that you’re on is going to be a one of enjoyment and not a one of overloaded workload, and people feeling like they can’t achieve the things that they’re looking to achieve. Being relative continually in your industries as well. Being on that pulse ahead of the curve, looking really, looking at those opportunities, as exactly that, opportunities. Leaning on in. Is this right for my business direction? Is this right for my financial forecasting? Is it right for all the strategy things? Is this the direction that I want to go into? Lean on in.

Now the final thing as well is really bringing your employees on that journey. Now we have mentioned that as well already, but actually providing that educational piece. So that connection, we call it phase four of our four phase process, connection, bringing our team along with the journey but also giving them the knowledge and the skills so they actually feel like they are a part of the journey, not an afterthought.

Hey, they’re just interrupting this episode to share with you a guide that you are going to want to explore. Are you a ClickUp user at the moment or have you been sitting on the fence and hearing me talk about it each and every week and just wondering, what is the next step to tech? Well, I’ve created a guide that’s going to support you on your journey to really design your ClickUp spaces, be able to create those and then connect them into the way that your business operates each and every day, my community have told me that this guide has been a game changer in the way that they really look at their ClickUp workspaces, and operate each and every day. And you can access it as well. So pop on over to my website, the artisans.com.au backslash freebies, and access The Action Takers Guide to Clickup. How fabulous that you know, you’re ready to evolve your ClickUp journey, you’re ready to move from where you are right now, to where you have always known you want to be. Reach out, let me know I love to hear all about your journey and ClickUp. So I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Embrace that communication, embrace those ways of working, really connect in with how can my team feel that they understand why we’re doing the things and actually how it’s going to be looking and feeling going forward. It’s the unknown that causes a lot of unrest with change. Why, but how, but when, but why? Being able to really solve and support our internal business people, our team, our trusted advisors, but also our external clients as well. So, that allows you as a business owner, to continue to adapt and be innovative, and take those steps of growth that are really where you, as a business leader, heading or as a you know, as a team, as a employee of a business leading a change process, we’re wanting to really foster the support of our teams to really engage and support that development for the business.

Now, I’ve spoken a lot about that sort of experience from the internal, but how can we actually execute it. What actually are the elements of introducing and shaping a successful experience to support this change? Now, this goes across a micro-change all the way through to a complete rebuild of a system and implementation, the difference is the timing and the investment of energy that goes into it. But these core things are going to flow on through. So, the first thing is that communication of vision. So why, why the change? What is the reason that you, as a business leader, have decided to make this transition, and what is the actual outcomes that we’re looking to achieve?

A recent client of mine, we have been supporting them, they’re a national company, we’ve been supporting them to implement a new IT tech solution. And the desired outcome is to provide more vision and visibility on the actual information that is being captured day in day out by the team members. So that that way, they can invoice more accurately that the experience from a scheduling point of view is more enjoyable, and that ultimately, as a business, we can be more profitable, ultimately, right? That is what we’re all about. So being able to really communicate that vision to the core team, and also the people that on the day in day out. Having those messages obviously aligned to the level of information that needs to be structured through. So that’s the other thing to keep in mind. We don’t need to share everything, that might be cons counteractive to everything I’ve just shared, but what is enough information for the level of person that we’re communicating to the business? And what information do we need to share, when. So keeping that in mind as well. So when we actually have communicated that vision as part of that we want to be able to actually map out a change management plan. So break it down into those manageable action areas. We’re able to actually then track those metrics, where are we, how are we flowing through, what’s the progress? Celebrating those wins. One big win I’ve experienced you know, recently is you know, having a look back and seeing what are those things that we’ve actually actioned. Look at all those things that have been ticked off the progress. It may feel like you’ve got a mountain still to climb, but when you stop and reflect back at that plan, that progress map of actions, oh, it’s so beautiful. This is something regardless of size of business, if you keep in mind or utilize those progress plans those What have I actually achieved in the last week, month, six months, 12 months, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at that action you’ve taken to move you forward.

Coming back to it – the next thing; involving your employees, bring them on the journey. Ask them for input. What are their ideas? How, what is their feedback on the way that you’re working right now? And how could they see what could be elevated and improved to support that next phase of the ways of working for your business. Your employees are, they’ve got their feet on the ground, they’re right there, they’re dealing with your clients, they’re working in your business, they’re working with you as a business leader. Now I know I have my beautiful traits, right. And my team support me to be fabulous, I can support them to be fabulous. And so we have a collaborative approach to how the business is evolving, that is a real integral part to any change management process, allowing and encouraging all that involve parties to be a part of the action.

Oh, so great, also, really creating that container for concern, and providing support for our teams. So as we’re going through, as we know, I’ve highlighted a few things, there may be some underlying concern around their own safety. And what I mean by safety is not physical safety, I mean, mental safety, financial safety, whatever it might be for your team, being able to actually create that space to have those conversations, give them those skills and knowledge that they need to know they’re invited to adapt as part of the change and really provide those resources and the assistance that’s required to really create that seamless experience for change. Lead by example, this is one that I see all the time. Why have our systems not been implemented beautifully. No, your system is working. But you’re not leading the change. You’re saying one thing and doing something completely different. Now you may have heard in the past, ah, ‘do as I say, not as I do’. Oh, no, ‘let’s do as I do, do as I say’. Let’s do it, lead it, you’ve got if you’re the business leader that is responsible for leading this change. You are the person that your team are looking towards, to see what you’re doing. Are you pressing those buttons? Are you actually reviewing the information that’s coming out of the system, because your team will be, you know, changes that thing. We get into habits and ways of workings, patterns of working day in day out, especially if it’s quite a repetitive task that your business is doing. And to be able to switch that and shift it into the new gear does take some energy, it’s like momentum, you know, when you’re like rolling a ball down the hill or down a hallway, and you’ve like really rolled it hard. For it to stop and change direction, there’s an adjustment that needs to happen, this is no different.

And what we can do is really show our team how you, as a business leader, are making this a priority in your day-to-day to be able to transition you through to the new ways of working. Celebrate success. That’s an important part. We’ve looked at that project plan and actually checking in on what we’re going, we want to celebrate those moments that we have reached those milestones, those achievements as we go through. And especially once we are live, let’s shout that from the rooftops. Let’s get people excited, bring them along the journey, because every person that’s been part of your journey has been part of this implementation and change process. So, let’s engage and celebrate with them. Now, once your change is live, whatever it might be- new way of working, new system, new strategy, new policies, whatever it might be. The most important part of all of this is continuous evaluation and improvement.

You know already that business evolves, ways of working evolve, some new piece of thing, tech, information on how teams can engage some sort of new tip on how to do X, Y, Z. comes in the world all the time. Some may not be relevant, but it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, what are those industry norms, those changes, those innovations that are happening, eg. AI again. How can we introduce that into the ways of working to streamline and allow our humans to do all the human things?

It’s fabulous, but having that real emphasis on continuous improvement is a really key part of any change experience. Okay, this has been a bit of a heavy episode everyone, I hope you’re still here and you’re enjoying it, but let’s wrap it up. I did want to talk about the importance of reviewing your client experience. We have gone through that a couple of times in our previous episodes, but really at a top-level thing, it’s about quality improvement. It’s about customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s about really continuing to be that leader in your organization, in your industry, capturing those ways of working the feedbacks, continuous learning and growth. And also really aligning that client experience with your reputation and your trust. All of these things come into being able to support that change management through from your initial conception of ‘Oh, this is a thing’, through to experience, bringing your team along on the journey, but also our clients, letting them know that we are continuously evolving our ways of working so that we can support them as our clients in the most efficient and enjoyable way.

Now, if you’ve just sat here all the way through, and you’re excited to evolve your next change process, take in mind those dot points, those things that we have mentioned through being able to eliminate some of that resistance. And when you’re looking to introduce that new way of working or that new change, just map yourself your plan to ensure that you’ve captured these key points. And I am so excited to celebrate with you when you get to that point, to really say, Hey, hey, we’ve done that, our team are engaged. And our clients are so happy with our new ways of working and I as a business leader, loving the fact that we have invested our energy and space and time to elevate that experience, internally and externally.

Well, thank you for joining me today again, and I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week creating clever systems for your business. Bye now.

Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over say ‘hi’, I’m on all the platforms at The Artisan Solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of-course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time see you then.




Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.