Moving Fast: From Floor Plan To Change Plan
June 4, 2024 | Change Management
by ExperiencePoint

Change in the workplace is inevitable—but slowing projects down, frustrating your colleagues and falling short on strategy are not.

Imagine there’s a significant change on the horizon that will impact everyone in your organization. While it promises many benefits, it will affect each person differently (and not every aspect may be positive for all).

Situations like this are common but never easy. You know there will be unexpected barriers that will likely prolong the process. Particular issues will matter deeply to some, while others won’t care at all. And there will undoubtedly be moments when people say, "You should have anticipated those consequences," no matter how unintended they were. 

We know this feeling all too well at ExperiencePoint. In fact, when change happens to us, the stakes feel higher because we teach change management. This is a story of one such change and how we secured broad adoption by spreading the project’s responsibility from five people to 30—in just 90 minutes. Here’s how we did it: 

Big changes coming 

After several years in our current office space, ExperiencePoint faced one of life’s inevitabilities: moving. Like most change initiatives, moving is stressful. It requires extensive planning, anticipating potential risks and building support across the team. Plus, both can get derailed at a moment’s notice. As you can imagine, we were keen to get it right—and that started with involving others.

This proactive and inclusive approach felt crucial, given the commonly cited statistic that declares 70 percent of change programs fail, primarily due to "employee resistance and lack of management support.” ExperiencePoint’s co-founder, James Chisholm, explained that involving others remedies this common pitfall by fostering shared responsibility for the change.

“When people are involved in shaping the solution, they are far more likely to improve and embrace it,” he said.

“When people are involved in shaping the solution, they are far more likely to improve and embrace it.”

- James Chisholm, co-founder at ExperiencePoint

To secure support from the start and keep up with the pace of change, we turned to our short-seat change management workshop, "Real Change Starts Here." According to the workshop’s product owner, Julia Cosolo, this decision was driven by a timely realization. 

“As we were building an early prototype of this workshop, we realized that we were going through a big change ourselves,” said Julia. “So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to test this early-stage concept for ourselves.”

We dubbed it “EP Moves.”

For leaders or change practitioners looking to lead larger-scale change initiatives, the ExperienceChangeⓇ simulation offers an engaging, low-risk and high-impact approach to change management. 


Securing change buy-in with a proven framework      

In early March, we ran a 90-minute Real Change Starts Here workshop with 25 people who represented a diverse cross-section of the team. Jennifer Lin, a QA specialist, admitted she had a few concerns when she first heard about the change—but her mind quickly changed during the workshop when she was guided through a simple, three-step approach.

ExperiencePoint's Ready, Willing & Able framework helps guide individuals and teams through any change process in the workplace.In the initial step, “Ready,” Jennifer and the team learned the “why” and “what” of the change from a leader’s perspective. Jennifer reflected, “It was great to hear the clear reason behind the change during the session rather than through guesswork and gossip.” 

In the “Willing” step, the team uncovered the benefits of the change for themselves, or what's commonly called: “What's in it for me?” (WIIFM). According to Julia, this step was vital as it “gave people a chance to feel heard, get involved and share feedback on a situation.” To gauge how the team felt about the change, people worked together in cross-departmental groups and used empathy maps to understand different personas and potential barriers to support. 

In the final “Able” step, the team identified the conditions needed to sustain the desired behavior change and motivate buy-in. They also offered suggestions to make the move more successful, such as impromptu social events, creating opportunities for more collaboration and upgrading technology. 

Leaving the session, Jennifer felt more positive about the change. “I got a lot of clarity, I got to hear other people’s perspectives, and I became more open to the idea of moving,” Jennifer said. “There were less worries and more excitement about what was to come.” 

“There were less worries and more excitement about what was to come.”

- Jennifer Lin, QA Specialist at ExperiencePoint


Improve your change plan in 90 minutes

What was most impactful about involving everyone in the change was the opportunity it created for leaders to uncover new insights they might have otherwise missed. Rather than worrying about the unknown, we could now address them head-on (and quickly, too!). 

Three main areas stood out during our workshop: 

1. Uncovering stakeholder feelings: We gauged the team’s whole range of emotions regarding the change—from excitement and curiosity to worry and even a bit of nostalgia.

2. Busting barriers of resistance: We got a clearer picture of the roadblocks and questions we needed to tackle to communicate with impact and get everyone on board.

3. Determining ways to encourage desired behaviors: We were left with practical ideas to make the change more successful, such as harnessing tech, engaging with our virtual community and offering incentives and support.

After the session, the project team responsible for the move felt more positive about the change project. They gauged how people felt about the change, identified key stakeholders and flagged ways to address barriers. James aptly summarized the experience in one sentence: “We left with a better plan and the full buy-in from those who participated—and it only took 90 minutes.”

Help your people embrace new ideas

Change is constant in organizational life, but it often happens in a vacuum without involving the people it’s actually affecting. If you find change difficult and tedious, the good news is that there are proven, practical methods that can help you and your team move forward with speed. 

After participating in “EP Moves,” our team gained a deeper appreciation for bringing people together to help realize the potential of new ideas. For us, the uniting factor was Real Change Starts Here, which fostered a sense of unity, ownership and accountability among everyone involved. Today, we can call our change a success.

ExperiencePoint's team come together in person for a group photo against the wall of their old office space before they take on a big change.Last team gathering in the old office space before the move. 

An office sign that says "Welcome to ExperiencePoint!" lies astray on a table as it gets unpacked in a new office space.Unboxing equipment in our new office. 

Wide open place office space filled with orange chairs shows just how quickly a change initiative can happen when everyone is on board.Putting together the final pieces of our new office.

Whether your organization is facing upcoming changes—big or small—we cannot overstate the power of involving everyone affected. So, if change is coming your way, it’s never too early to prepare your people. What are you waiting for?

Equip your people with the essentials of change management

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