Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine

Four ways to push an idea through resistance.

Under the radar: Incremental improvement which can be readily understood is not considered nearly as threatening as groundbreaking innovation. So in some cases the best course of action is to present what you’re doing as simply building on current practice, keeping the truly innovative aspects hidden under the radar until it is so far along, and showing sufficient promise, as to make it impossible to shut down.

Demonstration: It is difficult for people who have never experienced the benefits of a particular innovation to recognize its value. That is why a demonstration can have a far greater impact in terms of gaining support than data or studies showing why the innovation makes sense.

Pilot project: When additional support or resources are needed to develop your innovation, and simply keeping your work under the radar will not suffice,  proposing an innovation as research or as a pilot project that does not require a major commitment can garner support.

Inevitability: When an industry is changing rapidly, it opens the door to obtaining support for an innovative idea that, in a more stable business environment, management might not consider.

Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine – Lee E. Miller, and Kathleen Hayes Onieal – Harvard Business Review.


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