205. Innovate or Die (v.) Fears of Failure

Challenges Ahead

The business challenges over the next 36 months will exceed those of the past 15 years. Why? Read my humble opinions in my four preceding blogs: #s 201 – 204.

General assumption: if your company isn’t changing as fast or faster than its ecosystem, trying harder at the past won’t suffice.

Distributors, specifically, will have to reimagine field selling into multiple models. (For more – on why, what and how – check my webinars 8 -10.

But, big changes always evoke big resistance. Why?

The Root Causes for Anti-Change Resistance?

  1. Desire to protect the status quo. Some people are sincerely wired to guard the past. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  2. Forest v Trees. Others sense the need to change, but can’t see the shifting contours of the forest. So, they heroically bark up old trees with extra effort and see new lipstick as big change.
  3. Selfishness. Some non-shareholders have (by luck, political savvy and/or skill) gotten into a lucrative, influential post and are coasting to retirement. They speak the party line, but quietly resist any threats to their: wallet, perks, status or energy. The future, greater good is not their concern.
  4. Big picture curiosity mes fears of failing. There is no shortage of advice on what should be done. But, when new informed exploration reveals past mistakes and presents new trails to blaze, paralyzing fears arise.
    Who wants to: be exposed for past sins; or go from being the expert with all of old-school answers to a stumbling-forward, lead learner?
  5. The bigger the status and IQ, the more amazing the (data-free) rationalizations/opinions for why “true-new” won’t/can’t work.


  1. Accept that: human brains evolved to resist change in an unchanging world. But, accelerating business change must now be accommodated. The risks (and fears!) of not changing are now greater than experimenting forward.
  2. Design small experiments aimed at high-leverage spots for which the risk/cost is manageable while the potential, upside learning is big.
  3. Then, name both the individual and collective fears evoked. Own and forgive them. Then, muster courage to take baby-step experiments forward.
  4. Modify company culture to forgive and praise good mistakes.
  5. To surface both flawed assumptions and fears: watch my webinars and/or read my “Core Renewal Roadmap”. Write down the pushbacks; surface the underlying fears; and defuse them.
  6. Forget perfection! Just get to the future better than most of your competitors that are fear-bound.

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