Sudden, unexpected change can feel difficult to stomach, particularly when large in size or experienced by customers most sensitive to change, whether in character or by industry.
If you're rolling out a significant change, consider using the Mere Exposure Effect to slowly introduce the new concept and reduce Risk Aversion. The first exposure to the change should be light and ask little of the recipient. e.g. A poster on the wall or a light reference in an email.
But over time, consider ways to slowly increase the level of information and also the level of involvement. A show and tell, Q&A or digital opportunity to explore what is new at one's own pace.
Crucially, this should be done over time, so requires planning. The bigger the change, the more potentially-disruptive, and so the longer the window you should be working within.
What large, strategic changes are you planning down the line?
How might you start planning for these now with a series of small 'change exposures' that can grow gently over time?
We often recoil from the new and unknown, but how can we use exposure to reduce risk aversion?
New chapters in our lives mean creating new versions of ourselves. How can you make it easy for people to take the leap?
Unexpected change creates confusion and discomfort. How can you more delicately manage this process?
We stick to what we know, even when there are better things available. How can you offset this with a low risk sample?
We're evolutionarily hardwired to avoid change where we can. But how can you give people some reassuring control over it?
Our past efforts can often get the better of us. How might you test out a different direction in a lean way?
We're averse to what we don't know, slowing down progress. How might you avoid this with small info drips spread over time?
A fresh week, month or year offers a convenient opportunity to let go of sunk costs. Where can you use time to get closure?
With loss, perception is everything. As long as we've gained something, we can let go. How can you reframe past efforts?
If a better path to reach our goals has been found, letting go of our efforts will be less uncomfortable.
In times of change, we seek out leaders to help us move forward. How can you create reassuring clarity through your people?
As social creatures, we're greatly reassured by the actions of others. How can you use this to reduce aversion to change?