What is the emotional fix your change initiative provides?

Arnoud Franken
2 min readSep 29, 2022

The rational side of leading change you ace. As a business leader, project manager, or consultant, writing a business case, PID, or project plan and pitching it to the board is your bread and butter.

But inspiring and moving people to act on your change initiative, particularly when it requires from them new ways of working and behaving, is 9 out of 10 times bloody hard. Before you know it, you’re faced with so much resistance or apathy that you wonder why you ever started it in the first place.

This always happens, because the emotional side of change is approached as if it’s the rational side. When resistance or apathy is encountered, it’s interpreted as the audience not understanding why change is necessary, so the message of change is repeated, the volume goes up, and people are pushed harder to act. And then they push you back harder, back to square one.

Our brain is structured in such a way that we feel before we think.

Therefore, start upfront with determining what the emotional fix is that your audience is looking for. For example, is it important for them to feel confident, creative, inspired, or joyful? Then work back from there to determine what your story of change needs to focus on. Next, use your rational change plan to support your story so that your audience can feel confident of success when they involve themselves in it.

When you don’t leave the emotional fix your change initiative is going to give your audience to chance, leading change actually becomes fun.

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Arnoud Franken

Helping leaders to accelerate meaningful change | Senior Consultant, Strategic Change Leadership | Professor | Keynote Speaker