The wheels of progress require continuous improvement in organizations. What was once a change becomes the status quo. The people who implemented the existing way of working may feel like the latest change is trampling on their hard work. How do you help those who were involved in creating the current state to support the change instead of resenting it?
Celebrate their achievement. Acknowledge their work as a necessary stepping stone along the path of progress. Don’t treat it like a wasted detour.
Learn from their experience. Show you value their work by asking for input. What worked that they’d like to see continued? What were they unable to do before that this new opportunity might enable? What didn’t work that the newest project should watch out for?
Involve them in the new project. Rather than leaving them out in the cold, invite them to participate in a continued quest to expand the original goal. Extend their ownership into the new project.
Maintain their skills. Someone who created the current way of doing things is likely an expert in it. They may fear becoming obsolete. Invest in building their knowledge and skills in the new way.
Help them say goodbye. Throw a “retirement” party for the old way. Give people space to grieve if they need to.
When a new project replaces an old one, it can make people feel like their effort wasn’t good enough. Follow these tips to build support and avoid causing resentment of change.