I have had much success helping managers who need to get their teams to accept a new change. It doesn't just happen. One of my managers, (Mary), was bringing in a new call center system and knew that her staff would resist because they feared losing their jobs to the new technology. To address this fear, and to send a clear message that the old system was going out the door, I convinced her to have a funeral for the "dearly departing" old technology. To her credit, she took my suggestion to a new level.
She threw a heck of a funeral, to include a paper mache' tombstone, a sheet cake, Kool Aid, and a picture board that included photos of the staff using the 25 year old system. Mary did it right! The staff stood around remembering their years with the old system, discussing its strengths and weaknesses, most laughed, a few cried, and in the end, they processed their fear in a very productive manner.
In the end, the team stood in a circle, held hands, and lowered their head in memory of the outgoing system. When they returned to their cubicles they new the old system was toast and the new system was a reality. They knew they could not go back. Like the Vikings of old, they burned the boat.
The final result: The new system was installed with complete team support. They, in fact, became change champions and worked on continual upgrades once the new system was installed.
Let's have a funeral!! Cruel hoax, or a unique Change Leadership strategy? You make the choice!!