CAD Manager's Q&A: Some People Resist Change

23 Jan, 2007 By: Robert Green

I'm implementing 3D software in our company and am trying to get people trained, but it seems like some people just don't want to change their ways and learn. How do I deal with those who resist the change?

Robert Green replies:  First I think you have to understand and accept the fact that some people are just more afraid of change than others. Once you've accepted this reality, you can craft your training plan around it. Here's a very brief outline of how I tackle 3D training processes that's worked well over the years:

Train your willing power users first. Power users want to learn new things. They'll put in the effort to learn on their own and they'll help you test how well your training process works. Make these power users your partners in debugging the 3D training process and take their feedback seriously.

Next train those remaining who want to learn. Though they may not be power users, these users have demonstrated interest, shown some hustle and want to get on with adding 3D to their career skill set. Take the improved training program (that you crafted with your power users' help) and run your willing learners through in small batches to make sure they understand what you're teaching them. Repeat this step as many times as needed until you're left with only those who resist training.

Train those who resist last. I've found that people who resist 3D training have a host of reasons for justifying their resistance. These reasons might include, "I can work faster in 2D" or "The software doesn't work for what I need it to do," to list a couple. Since you will already have your power users and willing users trained, you'll be able to negate the objections that your resistant users bring up. And when you negate every reason people have for avoiding 3D, you force them to confront their fear of change and get on with learning.

This process doesn't always work, but it works better than anything else I've tried. It also helps you get your better 3D users to a point of independence, thus spreading out your support burden and keeping you a little saner during the process.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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