With innovation comes resistance. They define each other. An idea simply cannot be innovative unless it’s met with resistance.
Because of this, we should see resistance as a good thing. It is not a problem to encounter resistance when pitching an innovative idea. We shouldn’t give up when this happens. Rather, we should expect it if our idea is truly innovative.
What we need is a well thought out approach for how to overcome the resistance we will inevitably encounter. This includes knowing what to expect depending on the characteristics of our ideas, the resistors, and ourselves as the innovators. These characteristics will lend themselves to either an increase or decrease in resistance.
Those three groups (the idea itself, the resistor, and the innovator) are the three sources of resistance. As I said, there are factors in each that help us expect how much resistance we’ll meet. What are these factors?
For the innovative idea itself, there are 11 factors to take into consideration. They are as follows:
I have created a downloadable scorecard for you to determine how much resistance your idea will likely meet, based on the above factors. You can download it here and use it before pitching your next innovation.
The second two sources of resistance have to do with people. The first is the resistor, or the person you’re trying to sell your idea to. This person will have characteristics that make them more or less likely to resist your idea.
The first is whether they are motivated by innovation themselves. If they are, they’re less likely to resist your innovative idea. However, if they aren’t creative themselves, they’re more likely to resist the innovation that you present.
There’s not much we can do about the resistors. It is helpful, however, to be aware of whether they are more or less likely to resist. Expect it from those who are less predisposed to like innovation.
Finally, the third source of resistance is yourself as the innovator. You have certain characteristics that make you more or less likely to encounter resistance.
The first is how long you’ve been with your organization. If you’re brand new, you’ll likely meet more resistance.
Additionally, it depends on how well you can communicate your idea. If it’s articulated clearly, you’ll get less resistance. If this is a struggle for you, consider hiring someone else to pitch the idea for you.
The last factor is similarity. Call out the places where you are similar to the person to which you are pitching your idea. That will increase the effectiveness of your persuasive appeal.
To hear more on why people resist your innovative ideas and how to overcome it, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 005: Why People Resist Your Innovative Ideas and How To Overcome It.