Monday 26 November 2012

The red flags of change

There are two pushbacks that I almost always hear when trying to persuade someone that a change is needed. They are very common and I use them as red flags for myself. Every time when I get an urge to say something like that, I know I'm getting into a defensive mode, hence shutting down my brain.

We're specific - natural resistance to change manifests itself in this phrase. It always happens with strong opinionated people, particularly the ones who rethink everything and are convinced that ratio solves everything. The truth is that unless you're NASA and planning a mission to Mars, you're not specific! And even NASA is getting competition from SpaceX, so even that argument is no longer rock solid.

We've tried it already - Any suggestion can be molded into something that might resemble prior attempt of solving the situation. We like to simplify or just refuse to look at the same problem from another angle. That's a dangerous trap. We often forget one important fact: our actions are not the only activity that determines outcomes. Jack Dorsey tried a Twitter-like service way before it actually launched, but the timing wasn't right.  The same goes for FourSquare, in that case, the tech wasn't ready. Most successful tech startups don't have a novel idea. Their success is combination of timing, execution and luck.