We were at the world pre-launch of Nordgren & Schonthal’s next book – “The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas” – and we want to share with you the inspiration received and new ways of looking at business, innovation and change management.
Let’s start with the provocative question in the title: What makes a bullet fly? The usual answer is gunpowder. However, the main obstacles to a flying bullet are wind resistance and drag effects. Therefore, the correct answer should be: the design, the aerodynamics of the bullet.
Let’s try to apply this simple idea to business management. On the one hand, we have energy and on the other, friction. Energy drives new ideas and promotes change. Friction is the force that opposes change.
How to harness this energy and bring about the desired change? The answer lies in incentives, motivational mobilization (“elevate excitement”) and process streamlining. Let’s start by promoting individual initiative, giving it context and allowing ideas to move forward without fear of error. Let’s create a sharing environment where people freely share their vision.
But, as with the metaphor of the bullet, friction, the resistance to change, should not be overlook. Nordgren and Schontal present a Diagnosis and Action Model based on 4 possible friction sources:
- Inertia – Does the idea represents a more significant change? The human mind tends to resist to less familiar or less widespread ideas.
- Effort – What are the “costs” of implementation in physical, mental and financial terms? Is the path ambiguous? Have we taught people how to do it?
- Emotion – What negative feelings can the idea of change bring about? Do people anticipate some kind of threat or feel that their needs will be harmed?
- Reaction – Do some people feel pressed to change? Or perhaps excluded from the definition of the idea and the subsequent planning process?
Removing friction – so often a blind spot in business and project management – can be just as effective as increasing the energy used to drive forward. In Strategic Consulting, the careful design of an Improvement Plan must address both forces.
We want to be partners in our customers’ success. Contribute to the positive energy that drives the desired change. Want to change for the better? We’re here to help.