What if you struck out before you ever got to bat?
Not a very likely scenario for baseball, but in companies, this scenario happens all the time. A company leader has an idea that could significantly boost revenue and profit, and the initiative is "cut off at the knee" before it ever gets started.
One of my friends was the head of a large division for a packaged goods company. He told me once that he had an idea for one of the product lines — an idea that would simplify processes and improve consumer engagement. He mentioned this idea in a meeting, and by the time he got back to his office, there was a line of people waiting to tell him how his idea would never work. And this was the president of the division!
People have a lot invested in how things work right now.
Pride, ownership, past efforts, comfort — there are lots of reasons why employees work so hard to shut down new ideas. But the biggest driver is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of losing their importance, fear of even losing their jobs. Add on top the fear of embarrassment, of being irrelevant, and you can see how deep rooted the barriers to change are.
So, how do you effect change in your company given these barriers?
If you don’t figure this problem out, you probably will be the one who is irrelevant in a year or so…