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Why convincing skeptics is unnecessary

Activate a strong minority instead...

Digital Tonto: Change Consultants Recommend You Do These 3 Things. Don’t. 2021-Nov-21 by Greg Satell

There is an inherent flaw in human nature that has endowed us with a burning desire to convince skeptics. So it shouldn’t be surprising that change consultants focus on persuasion. Nothing validates a high fee like some clever wordsmithing designed to persuade those hostile to the ideas of those paying the bill.

Yet anybody who has ever been married or had children knows how difficult it can be to convince even a single person of something they don’t want to be convinced of. To set out to persuade hundreds—or even thousands—that they should adopt an idea that they are inherently hostile to is not only hubris, but incredibly foolish.

It is also unnecessary. Scientific research suggests that the tipping point for change is only a 25% minority. Once a quarter of the people involved become committed to change, the rest will largely go along. So there is no need to convince skeptics. Your time and effort will be much better spent helping those who are enthusiastic about change to make it succeed.

That’s what the change consultants get wrong. You don’t “manage” change. You empower it by enabling those who believe in it to show it can work and then bringing in others who can bring in others still. The truth is that you don’t need a clever slogan to bring change about, you need a network. That’s how you create a movement that drives transformation.