Resistance: It’s your fault!

Mindcamp Random

by Chris Barlow

There are two simple tricks to overcome resistance to your ideas: get better ideas and/or do a better job of explaining the insights behind your ideas.

No one is “resistant to change”. Picture the most resistant person you know being told their income for next year will double with no negative consequences. Is that a major change? Of course! Is there any resistance? Of course not!

You can read a more extensive discussion in my blog, but let me give you the basics. It is hard work finding the improved perspectives that make new ideas obvious to us. Expecting that perspective to be immediately obvious to others when presenting ideas is senseless. “Don’t raise the bridge, lower the water” is easier to pitch when you first point out that the gap between bridge and water is what matters.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the idea is inadequate because of our lack of vision. The exciting AHA reaction is based on the idea’s improved fit to our understanding of a problem. But those same ideas may trigger quite a different reaction in those who understand other issues and factors.

As problem solvers we need to seek out all the stakeholders, issues, and factors in a problem situation to build an understanding that will make our AHA reactions relevant to reality. Generally this requires assembling a number of people who provide the various knowledge elements.

Unfortunately the cultural, paradigm and perspective diversity of such assemblages tends to make communication and collaboration nearly impossible. Fortunately the changes necessary to allow diverse groups to communicate and collaborate are identical to the steps we take to help individuals and teams think creatively: respect for differences in others, considering multiple conflicting realities, exploring the possibility that there are opportunities outside our understanding, allowing people to expose their ignorance and lack of understanding in a comfortable environment, etc. Sessions throughout Mindcamp provide a rich array of tools and techniques and perspectives that help you develop the needed group culture, and then to extract maximum effective creativity from them.

Of course, all human minds have limits on the number of factors they can process simultaneously, so it is also important to acquire tools which allow people to outperform the limits. Simply keeping written lists and drawings visible to teams lets them handle more factors. My Mindcamp session “Matrix Multiplicity” explores the use of matrices to organize and generate ideas which incorporate many different elements and factors simultaneously. I would be delighted to help you find ways this tool fits your creative endeavors, personal and professional. You can email me at barlow-at-cocreativity-dot-com.

Chris Barlow presents Matrix Multiplicity: More than judgment and idea generation at Mindcamp 2012.