I was once fired from a Speaker’s Bureau for posing this question to the audience:
Why aren’t you closing all the sales you deserve to close?
“You’re too provocative! No one wants to hear from a disruptor!” was the reason.
When speaking with a friend recently I referred to myself as a Breakthrough Disruptor. “Don’t call yourself a disruptor! No one wants disruption!” he said.
Can these folks be right? Haven’t all new ideas been disruptions? Certainly so much of what seems standard today was initially a breakthrough disruption: our phones and computers, plastics – even knives! Why would disruption be a bad thing? How else can change happen?
DISRUPTION IS NECESSARY
I believe there are several business practices sorely in need of disruption.
- Beyond the bells and whistles of technology, the sales model is the same as it was – ‘needs’ and solution-placement driven – when Dale Carnegie told us to find a buyer and pitch a product – in 1937. Sales currently experiences a 95% fail rate, even when sellers attempt to be nice about it; it remains wholly biased by the needs of the seller.
- Change management models use leader-based models that build in resistance and ignore the often hidden, values-based criteria of the stakeholders. Change management currently faces a 85-97% fail rate.
- Training continues to employ information presentation and practice as the main tools, even though learners don’t permanently absorb the new content. Training experiences an 80% fail rate.
- Healthcare continues to push Behavior Modification as a healing practice even though almost no patients comply, and the changes made during their behavior modification activities aren’t permanent. Behavior Mod fails 97% of the time.
It’s outrageous that we’ve not only condoned substantial failure rates but built them into our personal habit change activities, causing us to feel shame for not having the ‘discipline’ to succeed, and into our businesses, accepting minimal revenue, needs for additional resource (people, technology), as well as high turnover rates and hiring/training costs as standard practice.
Seems to me a bit of disruption wouldn’t hurt: you can’t change the status quo without disrupting the status quo.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
Below I’ve posed a few questions using a breakthrough (disruptive!) model of questions I developed called Facilitative Questions that eschew curiosity and information gathering to traverse a direct route into a Responder’s brain to often-unconscious values-based answers stored in their brain circuitry.
- What has stopped you until now from being willing or able to consider doing something differently when your routine practices haven’t been as effective as you’d like?
- What would you need to see or understand differently to notice if your standard practices could be enhanced with out-of-the-ordinary skill sets? And how would you know that the risk of out-of-the-box tools is worth taking?
- How would you know in advance (before you really consider doing anything different) that new tools would have a chance to resolve some of the failures you’ve experienced? That an outside disruptor could help AND maintain the values of the original activity?
- In the areas you might need change – communication, sales, healthcare, leadership, OD, training – what would you need to consider to seek out a resolution beyond your normal routine and add new skills that cause change without resistance?
- How would you go about bringing together the full set of stakeholders (users, leadership, technology) necessary to design the disruption in a way folks are bought-in from the beginning to make the process creative?
We’ve assumed that offering/knowing details of fixes would prompt success. But you know by now that doesn’t help. Offering new information doesn’t cause change:
– Because of the way our brains take in words/sound waves, people don’t hear new ideas accurately and the resultant distortion and misunderstanding makes resistance inevitable.
– Because of the way biases limit questions to the needs of the Asker, incomplete data is collected, wrong assumptions made, and necessary answers are overlooked.
– Because of the biased assumptions and persuasion/push tactics built into current change models, folks who really need change experience resistance before being willing to consider doing anything differently.
To make a change it’s necessary to know the full set of factors in the status quo that maintain the problem, and have a specific route to change that includes all stakeholders, buy-in, and risk management. Any change must be congruent with the values of the original.
I understand that most folks prefer to remain within mainstream thinking and employ conventional workarounds for failures. But for those who are willing to go outside the box with tools that cause real change in Leadership, Coaching, Change Management, and Sales, call and let’s figure out a way to install new thinking in a way that’s least disruptive.