Maintaining commitment to change


Successful change takes commitment. Many attempts at change start out well and overcome initial resistance to change. But, when continued commitment to the new change becomes challenging it is often easier to go back to old ways and the change fails. Commitment means being dedicated to taking action to bring about a desired result. The important part of that sentence is “dedication to take action.”


Many shifts in work and the management of organizations have results in moving away from compliance. You cannot force people to commit to supporting change. Therefore, effort needs to be directed towards creating a culture supportive of change so people are willing to embrace and commit consistent energy to bring about desired results.


Commitment is best when internally motivated. People need to feel motivated to take action for successful and sustained change because they care about the result. Commitment is necessary to get change started, keep things moving, and find ways around obstacles and challenges when they arise.


So, how do you identify the strength of your commitment to an individual or organizational change?


Start by asking yourself, why is this change important to me? What do I care about why this change is needed?


Other tips for building commitment for change highlight the need for clear and continued communication to:

  • Make sure you and everyone else involved agrees on what the change is and why change is needed?
  • Map the journey across the life span of the change initiative to avoid the trap of disappointment and reduced commitment because change isn’t instant and institutionalizing change takes time.
  • Be clear about who is to be involved, including those directly and indirectly, so everyone knows their role and can be supportive of change efforts.
  • Be willing to apply creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness to resolve problems or issues that might block the achievement of the change goals.


Check for effective change communication in the previous post “Make Change Stick.”

Comment and discussion, please go to Institutionalization Workspace on Edmodo.