Overcoming Complacency?

Brass Contributor

Hey everyone! Greetings from Atlanta, GA.


I've recently stepped into the role of a Customer Success Manager for Microsoft, and I'll be driving adoption for companies with low numbers of Active vs. Qualified Entitlements for Microsoft Teams.


My question to you all is this: how do you overcome the objection of "things are fine the way they are?" Companies often have so much on their plate that the LAST of their concerns is the adoption of a new communication platform. How can we be respectfully persistent and convince them that, although we understand and respect their priorities, MS Teams would be an incredible asset to the company in the long run?


Thanks in advance for your responses.


All the best,

Guilherme Apollonio

16 Replies

I think it is a great question @GApollonio and something that we're facing in many organisations. In theory it is easy to say what should be done. I e, why should they change the way they work and what's in it for them as well as their organisation. What does it look like today and how could it look in the future. What are the pain points that possibly would be addressed. How to do that is then the challenge.
I think you have to approach it in many different ways. I don't necessarily believe in a huge change program but rather embedding your/our activities in already or up-coming initiatives, where the different workplace tools will play a role as enablers. I think it is about being persistent in your communication and various adoption activities. I believe in using networks of different kinds, such as champions and various yammer-groups. And last but not least, get leaders on board to be the role models in new ways of working. 
I'm struggling with the same challenge as you, having the same kind of job but within an organisation. I'm looking forward to the be part of this discussion to get some new inspiration on how to overcame the challenge and turn it into a great opportunity. 

I would suggest that if you can show "what's in this for me?"..Most people hate emails so show how teams can reduce you having to be a slave to emails. @GApollonio 


Get one C-level adoptor to start showing the benefit.



@Hanna Rehnstrom Thanks for your response. I like your points! So,


1. A focus on CURRENT shortcomings and pain points and how they can be addressed with Teams.

2. Beginning with limited, specific use of Teams.

  • Maybe suggesting a monthly meeting move to the Teams platform? Or a specific department as a test subject?

3. Win over leaders so they can drive the change with you.


I think #3 is the hardest. After all, the entire point of the issue we're discussing is that those same leaders might agree with you that Teams is great, but it's not on their priority list and they're sticking to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. I'm looking forward to getting some more experience in my role so I can share some insights based on my conversations with different companies.


All the best,


@nickmohamed Thanks for your response. That's something I learned in the Adoption Specialist Course Karuana Gatimu put together! I agree; it's a good strategy.

I'm starting to see that the secret really is to start small. We often want to break down the door and start employing company-wide, tangible change, but it's just not realistic. Starting with a small trial team of employees and letting the platform prove its worth seems to be the best course of action.

All the best,

@GApollonio I often use a saying that our former CEO used, "What took us here will not take us there". So we need also to challenge people to adopt new ways of working rather than to adopt a new tool. But probably the new tools are better suited for new and modern ways of working. Staying in the past is no option, who wants to work at another "Kodak". Of course we need to speak about WIIFM as well but we need to have a battery of arguments.

@GApollonio Hey,


Echoing the valuable insights, I would also add to importance of success stories. In every organization they are some people - let's call them early adopters - who can quickly link new technology with their business objectives. These people can be individual contributors ... Engaging with them and developing a success story will help you to create a momentum. In our adoption projects we took a two sided approach:


  • Identify main collaboration & communication challenges per user segment - using a survey or interviews with stakeholders. And develop a general adoption strategy around these pain points
  • Develop a champions program to experiment usage scenarios & create early success stories.

One last point, the following tactic can be also helpful:


  • Identifying current applications that are widely used and integrate Teams with them (CRM, JIRA, ..etc)

Hope this helps,





I like that saying! Seems like something to incorporate into my conversations as well.

@Hasan_Ali_Polat Great insights; thanks for sharing. I especially like the idea of using surveys to gain insights and relying on the success stories of individuals within the company to drive the point home.

@GApollonioStart with the five "Why's." Resistance to change happens because most people inherently resist change. The key point here is they do that even though there are things they do not like about the current situation. Ask why do you like staying in the same place. With the answers, ask again, "Why" based on feedback. Do this over and over again with empathy for those being asked. Eventually you will get down to the core things that make current state a 'real' pain. That is what you now build off of. Now you can ask, "What if there was "x" that could do this to take away some of that core pain"? It is their answers that are critical. Based on them, you keep asking questions. You build up from the five "Why's" guiding the audience along the way. If you do this together, when you get to the top level (where they exist the majority of time), they will have a more fulfilled understanding of why other alternatives are a positive possibility. You have overcome the easy assumption by the end user to just stay at the top level without taking the energy to ask more "Why's." You have been their guide to more enlightenment. That builds trust and acceptance. You must be true in your position the entire time or you risk your credibility. This really works and has to be adapted obviously to the individual circumstances. Staying focused truly on the end users, passionate regard for their pain, will lead to some meaningful advances in breaking down complacency.

@GApollonio Great question and some really great feedback on this question as well.


I run into a lot of people that are not interested in the "change" and they work just fine the way they are.  At the stage we are at in our move to Office 365 (we will start data migrations next year), when I run across people that are not ready for the change, I let them go on their way.  These are the "laggards" and will most likely be the last people to make the change and they will only make the change when everyone else is doing it.  Like when you think about moving from a flip phone to a smart phone...  there were some ( and maybe still some) people who refused to move to a smart phone.  However, eventually, as the early adopters and watchers started moving to the smart phones and accessing capabilities that you could only otherwise access on a computer, those laggards started to realize that it might not be so bad to change.  I have 24,000 people to adopt this change and I figure it is best to drive it home with those Innovators and Early Adopters, and start working on the late majority.


We always have a laggard in one of our training sessions.  I find this video the best way to start out our Training Sessions - everyone can relate :) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIqA_YKeboc


Additionally - the previous comments I see above are some really great items to get those Laggards as well. 

1st - Leadership approval and Direction from the top down to use the tools

2nd - spending time with the users, relate the tools to what they do on a daily basis

3rd - build your champions organization to help support additional training and support




@Tara Klein - Great video!  Thanks for sharing.  :smile:

@GApollonio no problem :) We are working on a success newsletter format for clients to help them socialize early success stories internally . Happy to share the first draft here when we finish .. 

@Hasan_Ali_Polat Could you share your newsletter format?

Hi @Cathy Rodriguez ,


We mainly use the following sections (usually on SWAY) for the newsletter:

  • Current usage numbers - overview (from usage analytics)
  • New features of Teams, f.e. together mode
  • Success stories:
    • Explained by a champion - this way the scenario becomes more compelling and realistic, it also increases the visibility of the champions
    • We use a simple before/ after format here or pain point/ solution (f.e. "we used to use email for communication with external suppliers and it was very hard to track information, now we created a Team and invite suppliers as guest, this way all information is easily accessible"). Of course this is a very basic scenario but you get the idea :)

hope this helps,





Hi, just stumbled upon this thread. Quick reply, because yes starting small helps sometimes, but is not the only route. We employ a digital gamification platform where we challenge teams company-wide (100s teammembers) at the same time. Key is that your make chaning behavior fun, challenging and meaningfull. And the topic is never to 'learn using Teams' for example, but an actual and urgent scenario such as 'improving the effectiveness of meetings'. Happy to expand on our experience with this if interested.

Mike (The Cue, Netherlands)

@GApollonio I've always found that if you give them an out, they will be more eager to try it. So, I always ask them to try it for a week with absolutely no judgement on it, then after a week we can review their thoughts and see if it's a path they want to stay on OR NOT. So far, I've always had 100% success with this method. It has also constantly surprised me that oftentimes the loudest objector becomes the biggest advocate.


I usually pick a department within an organization to do it first, often by asking a department to volunteer for it, or at all staff meetings, give the product a 10-second overview, then ask if a department would like to try it out. 


So, between getting a volunteer group, but giving them an out before they even volunteer, I've never had to force anything on anybody. Teams is a great example. I used this technique recently and the marketing department volunteered themselves, and before the week was out, the whole company was using it. Water cooler talk is powerful!