Getting Past “No”

Today I have the opportunity to share with several hundred people four key concepts behind creating changes you want to see in the world and six tactics for getting past “No,” when making the changes we want to see in the world.

For those of you would could attend the training session (or for those who did, but can’t remember what I said) here are the details.

DPDriving People: using some coercion (e.g., orders, fear of negative consequences, removal of positive consequences) to externally compel someone to change.





Driving Change: choosing a change for yourself and clearing the obstacles for others to internally choose the change too.




stoplightControl: The rules (written and unwritten) that we put in place in theory to keep us safe, to direct us to good outcomes, and to inform us when it is our turn to move.  The problem is that we’re often really good at creating these rules and really awful at getting rid of them (when they’ve ceased to serve their purpose) or coordinating them (when they conflict).

The result is a person stopped at the line paralyzed by the conflicting signals, frustrated by the knowledge that he or she has somewhere to be, and cursing whoever allowed such a system to develop.  The answer to “Who?” is we all did and we can all take small steps to fix it.


KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFlow:  Just as traffic engineers replace congested, light controlled intersections with roundabouts to improve traffic flow (20% to 89% depending on the study you reference), so too can individuals in organizations work to replace stop-and-go filled processes (written or unwritten) with flowing processes or behaviors.  For example: Instead of saying “Look for X and report it to Y,” an instruction could say, “Look for X.  If found, proceed to…If missing, proceed to…”


Six Tactics for Getting Past “No”

1. Tear down your mental barriers.

2. Use the hierarchy and the network.

3. Think.

More than ambition, more than ability, it is rules that limit contribution; rules are the lowest common denominator of human behavior.  They are a substitute for rational thought.” – H.G. Rickover

4. Seek the Chapter and Verse.

5. Define “They”

6. Find a new route.

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