Dolphins can only take in a small amount of air, and as a result, surface frequently. Whales, on the other hand, can take in large amounts of air, and therefore stay submerged for longer periods of time. (Fun biology facts: dolphins tend to stay underwater for 15 to 20 minutes, whereas a sperm whale can hold its breath for up to 90.) David Feeny, Emeritus Professor of Information Management at Oxford, uses this metaphor to illustrate how to communicate about organizational change: it’s better to pop your head up frequently to talk about a little change, rather than trying to make a big splash (!) all at once, and then disappearing back into the depths.
What this means in practice is: make change a habit. Acknowledge people when they do adopt a new routine. Celebrate the small wins on a regular basis. And during your 1:1s, (which you are holding regularly, right?) ask people how they feel they are dealing with change, and discuss ways they can get more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.