Episode 5

Prof. David Schonthal: How to overcome the resistance to your ideas

We spend a lot of our professional days trying to sell ideas to colleagues or clients, don’t we? We may not like the idea of selling but that’s exactly what we’re doing. It might be support for an initiative or investment in a project — from a board, exco or external investor.

We’d like to think that do it well — describing its features, explaining how it works and selling the benefits. No doubt with conviction, emotion, too. But sometimes the answer is ‘no’. Perhaps it wasn’t compelling enough so we try harder. Often the real problem is that we haven’t invested enough time in understanding their resistance.

My guest, Professor David Schonthal, argues that innovators neglect the psychological frictions that oppose change. And though they are rarely considered, overcoming these frictions is essential for bringing new ideas into the world.

The best bits of these conversations are captured in my newsletter Flashes+Sparks.

Further resources

VIEW RUNNING ORDER

03.08 The fuel and friction of change.
05.47 What gets in the way of people thinking more about friction.
08.17 Integrating friction into the innovation process.
10.35 How he uses these concepts in his own practices and roles.
15.16 How to encourage people to think of frictions.
16.59 How do you get the right blend of fuel and friction.
20.01 How big a shift it is to think in this way.
21.41 How thinking of frictions improves inclusion.
25.02 What VCs and business schools can learn from each other.
27.49 The lack of hierarchy in the four aspects of friction.
28.39 Universality.
31.51 How he’s used his research in his personal life.

“The fuel is all of those forces that push people towards change and friction is headwinds that tend to stand in the way of change.”

Professor David Schonthal, Kellogg School of Management

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