When it comes to innovation and introducing change in an organisation, some people instantly embrace the journey while others resist it. It’s important to me that everyone has the opportunity to get involved, as I believe that everyone has something to contribute. Sometimes, it means convincing people to hop on the train when they’re already running in the opposite direction. Here are three actions that have helped me to still get them on board.
- Listen to find the root of resistance
It’s time to put on our design thinking hat and connect on a human level. Where is the resistance coming from? To understand this, we can start by just listening to the people we want to or are working with. What concerns are they raising? Is it fear of the unknown? Past negative experiences? Lack of clarity about the value of an initiative? By actively hearing people out and acknowledging their concerns, you can dissolve a significant portion of the resistance. Feeling heard and valued goes a long way in inspiring others to embrace change.
- Split facts from fiction
After hearing various perspectives, we now have some information on where people stand. Now we need to uncover what is fact and what is fiction. Sometimes people have strong opinions but when diving deeper, we realise these are based on assumptions. Do we have evidence to support our beliefs, or are they merely gut feelings? By becoming aware of what is based on evidence and what is an assumption, we can come up with an appropriate action plan. Are there clear examples and evidence pointing at a major blocker in the system? Then we need to fix this if we want to succeed. Is there no data to back up an opinion? Let’s introduce the concept of experimentation and see if we can gather evidence to support or invalidate this opinion.
- Use data to move forward together
Using an evidence-based approach helps with fostering a collaborative atmosphere. By relying on facts and data, you remove the potential for a “you versus me” dynamic from the equation. By reframing the conversation around data, you shift the focus from personal views to a shared pursuit of truth. This approach cultivates a more constructive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute.