In order to get buy-in, change must be not only attainable, but sustainable. It is easy to slip back into old habits and do what is comfortable; however, this will not help complete the change. Change must be incremental at first, so the old is not so far away, yet consistent, so small changes make dramatic leaps forward before you know it. The change must also be successful to the customer. The customer must “feel” the change in order to remain positive and make positive comments to staff that are often starved for positive feedback. Sustainable change will become a solid foundation for improvement. Sustainable support from executive management will go a long way towards staff taking the change not only seriously, but also applying it consistently.
The “suspend disbelief” mantra is more than a catch phrase in the change process; it is the frame of mind that the management and staff must both embrace. This is difficult to achieve when the staff have experienced many changes in leadership and policy direction. When there is no real understanding of the process, it is hard to encourage staff to take the leap of faith and make small, incremental changes to move the “pea up the hill” or the change process forward.