We tend to treat “we have always done it this way” response from people to a proposed change as negative. While I respect the intent behind that perception, I strongly feel that it’s a great opportunity. Let me explain.
The moment someone says this, treat it as a genuine curiosity to know – why change now when it has always worked for us? This is an opportunity to explore and explain the context for the proposed change(s). An opportunity to look at the previous context vs. new context. And why the way they worked in the past may not be the best way in the new context.
Such a dialog is an opportunity sets deep engagement and lasting impact from the change. I would urge leaders and practitioners of change to treat this statement as a genuine curiosity to understand “why”. At times, this dialog may reveal insights that we might have missed while planning the change.
If you feel that you have already explained it and still getting such response, please look at the way you explained it. As the other side might not have fully understood what you said.
On the other hand, there is a risk if someone simply implements the change without understanding the need for it.