Opportunity Meet Resistance: 6 Tips to Overcoming Resistance to New Ideas!


Opportunities for one create challenges for others almost always!  When someone gets excited about the possibilities and starts to move the ball forward taking initiative they are often driven by an adrenaline rush of energy and excitement that becomes infections (projecting a very positive energy on their environments).  They move forward, sometimes fast and furious and deep in their hearts and minds they believe these initiatives will be good for all.  They drive hard believing (one of my favorite quotes and beliefs) “100% is possible 100% of the time!”  90% of the time they could be on the money.  Many times they’ve anticipated as best as possible the risks involved with moving their new ideas forward, except maybe the most important one….. “their ideas need other people in the organization to really realize full success.”

Then, STOP, dead in the tracks as resistance enters! Roadblocks, challenging assumptions, an inkling of non-trust, negative inputs and the hardest to swallow of all “Well that will never work here!” or “This can not be done!” or “We tried that in past, it failed and will not work!”  You’ve heard all of these and more I am sure.  How about just simply the “mmmm, thanks for the info.” and no other input is provided as the contingent of associates leave the conference room.

What do you do?  How do you overcome the resistance and what is the root cause of this stalemate….ideas going nowhere fast!


6 Tips to Overcoming Resistance:


  1. Define clearly what success is for everyone involved!
  2. Share your ideas early on and ask for feedback and input. Engaging more people creates that energy we all love around crowdsourcing.  There is really power in numbers.
  3. Build a cheerleading squad. Arm the cheerleaders with great information, statistics and the story! Why are these new ideas so important?
  4. Learn quickly how your new idea will impact those most important to helping you carry the idea forward and make it happen. Let them know why they are important to your plan.  Everyone wants to be valued, help them understand their value to this plan and what is in it for them!
  5. Have your back up plans solid! One of tactics is the play the game “what if” …. Anticipate every what if you can and play out those what if’s fully to anticipate both the challenges or roadblocks that could occur and also the what if’s around the opportunities.
  6. Sometimes there is great fear around the What if this is very successful…. This is a fun problem to have but it can be a barrier to others cheering for your plan! If you are successful these questions start to arise:
  • What if we can’t do the work to the quality level we want to achieve
  • What if we run out of product
  • What if something crashes…These are as important to anticipate as the possibilities of the idea falling flat and not being successful.

Create away!

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