The Best Ideas Don't Win and What To Do About It -- Part 2


In last week's posting, we acknowledged that the best ideas don't necessarily get implemented in organizations and discussed why that happens. We then covered the first two steps for leading change well in the midst of this reality:

Step #1: Expect resistance

Step #2: Appreciate the pain

Now, we're ready for the step #3 and a video to help us feel what it’s like for new ideas to reach their potential.

Step #3: Be a patient nurturer

If we expect resistance and embrace it as it reveals to us everything we must consider for our best ideas to succeed, it makes sense that the process would take time. As we seek out the thoughts and inputs of all the necessary stakeholders, in some cases to win their support and in all cases to receive their critical feedback, time will be passing. And that's ok, because time is what many people need to become comfortable with new ideas, especially as they are being tweaked and morphed to take everything into account that they must in order to be successfully implemented. In order to chart the path forward, we must see ourselves less as fervent crusaders and more as patient nurturers.

Feel It For Yourself In 60 Seconds

Even if you are an IPDM ("Incredibly Powerful Decision Maker") in your organization and hold the rare authority to speak organizational change into existence, these three steps are still worth your attention. Why? Because following them isn't merely about getting great ideas implemented. These steps are also about improving those ideas (Step #2) and earning genuine support from those who have to live with these changes moving forward (Steps #2 and #3). So even if you have the power and authority to skip some of these steps, being a wise and effective leader means restraining yourself from doing so.

I've failed at healthy organizational change in my past. I've frustrated myself and others as I've pushed for organizational changes without being mature enough to embrace the three needed steps. I've let myself be surprised by pushback and objections. I've attempted to convince and cajole when I should have been curiously asking questions. I've seen the organizational causes that have struck a chord within me as immutably and immediately important without considering the reasonable pressures and priorities of others.

Because of my failures, I was blown away recently by a commercial from General Electric. Though aimed at the idea of innovation, this 60 second spot speaks volumes about the realities of organizational change birthed from new ideas. It is a brilliant piece that generates for its audience the very discomfort that new ideas create within our organizations. Watch it remembering that no matter how great our new ideas may be, (1) they will be met with resistance, (2) those resistance points show us the path toward improvement and successful implementation, and (3) the process of bringing these ideas to fruition is fostered best through patient nurturing. If we are to reach our potential as leaders, we must manage ourselves well, both intellectually and emotionally, as we leverage the best ideas to drive positive organizational change.

Here's the commercial. Enjoy it. Feel it.