Naysayers to Yaysayers

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How to create champions for innovative ideas

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Naysayers to Yaysayers

  1. 1. Naysayers to Yaysayers how to create champions for innovative ideas
  2. 2. Show me a successful innovator and I will show you someone who has lived through rejection…
  3. 3. …emotional ups and downs…
  4. 4. …and the disappointment of being ignored.
  5. 5. © iStockphoto.com / Florea Marius Catalin Glowing images associated with innovation iStockphoto.com / © starfotograf convey the impression that the process unfolds iStockphoto.com / © Trista Weibell painlessly... iStockphoto.com / © Izabela Habur
  6. 6. © iStockphoto.com / © Rob Friedman …but the reality of implementation can be quite different.
  7. 7. On the road to implementation there will likely be resisters.
  8. 8. 5 Here are tips for transforming these NAYSAYERS into YAYSAYERS.
  9. 9. 1. Recognize that resistance is natural. Throughout history, even the best ideas have encountered opposition. Proposed changes to the status quo will likely be dismissed or ridiculed by someone; such reactions probably say more about the naysayer than the value of your idea.
  10. 10. 2. Resisters can be part of the solution. Naysayers can contribute to a better solution if they have an opportunity to understand your challenges and develop a personal stake in the outcome. Support for an idea will take on a “life of its own” if these new champions extend their influence to help your cause.
  11. 11. 3. Frame your pitch in their terms. Lesson from Negotiation 101: always find a way to express your idea as something that is in their interest. Also, research indicates that decision makers typically seek to avoid loss, so highlight the consequences of saying no in their terms.
  12. 12. 4. Work though the resistance; don’t try to fight it. It’s important to see the transformation of naysayers as a digestive process, rather a force-feeding event. This means developing trust and understanding over a period of time, instead of relying on one airtight case to gain support.
  13. 13.  You may be here. 5. Expect ups and downs. Instead of being surprised and daunted by this naturally bumpy process, it’s helpful to remember that non-linear progress is normal. A mental “You are here” image is a realistic way to deal with temporary setbacks on this journey.
  14. 14. A Final Note: In daily practice, we often observe staunch naysayers begin to champion ideas that they initially rejected. What seems to shift their opinion is a spirit of shared learning and co-evolution. This approach to building mutual trust is more effective than pushing unilateral arguments aimed at buy-in. Sharon VanderKaay Farrow Partnership Architects www.farrowpartnership.com

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