Common problems

Below are some common problems that you and your change team may encounter as emerging leaders and some suggested strategies to address them.  

Common problems Strategies to address the problem
Your colleagues understand the change but are opposed to it
  • Recognize that there may be individuals who do not support the change initiative due to many factors, such as feeling threatened by the change or preferring to maintain the status quo.
  • Avoid using education to address their opposition, as it will unlikely address their concerns.
  • Continue to root the change in values, ensure that the shared concern or strongly desired change and the solution are clear and that the gains to be made by change agents are emphasized.
  • Avoid engaging with individuals who are trying to discredit or attack what is happening until some momentum has been achieved.
Individual and collective action is delayed
  • Get started (even with small steps) in individual and collective action, recognizing change as a journey. This will help to build momentum, raise awareness and hopefully gain the interest of others.
  • Spend time planning and collaborating with others to establish the goals of the social movement, but avoid delaying action.
A perception that the work of change agents is done when the goals of the social movement have been met
  • Continue to focus on the long-term goal of sustainability.
  • Recognize the danger of returning to ‘old’ ways of thinking and doing if the social movement is perceived to be over and no further action is needed to maintain the change.

SOURCES: Robert & Bate, 2010; Satell, 2020.