Have you ever met people that when presented with an obvious path to something better they reject it out of hand? Even if you have information and rock-solid evidence of the promised improvement they still reject it. We walk away from the conversation bewildered and wonder if its something we did wrong on our presentation, Ultimately we are asking why they don’t accept the information and take advantage of the benefit.
Seth Godin, in his latest book “This is Marketing” talks about pattern match and pattern interrupt. The basic premise is a pattern match fits the existing narrative the person has and what you are offering forms to the narrative, therefore, it is easy to adopt. A pattern interrupt is essentially your offering interrupts the existing narrative and creates tension. This tension creates a challenge to their narrative and that is a scary place for most people to be.
When we encounter a pattern interrupt it presents a challenge to our worldview and either makes us stop and consider the change or reject it out of hand. This is especially true if the pattern interrupt is coming from someone close to us. The unfortunate truth is familiarity breeds contempt and a man from out of town in a suit with a briefcase is an expert.
The interesting thing is when we don’t embrace a pattern interrupt, especially one that can be proven, we potentially miss out on things that can make a real difference in our lives professionally and personally. As Seth Godin so succinctly describes, tension creates forward movement and change. A pattern interrupt creates tension and requires us to stop and think outside of our internal narrative and consider different possibilities.
Innovative people and companies NEVER say:
“Your Proposal is bold and innovative but we are a traditional company. We would prefer ideas and changes like the ones we have already tried before”
It’s in these possibilities that some of the most transformative change can happen. However, if we stick our head in the sand and think only the best ideas come from within we are missing a wide world of potential benefits.
Some of the most innovative business ideas come from people that dared to think about things in a new way. They had the audacity to buck the masses and think there is a better way. Just because it has been done a certain way for decades doesn’t mean there isn’t a better or alternative way.
Smart companies embrace change and are always brainstorming on ideas to deliver better, more and higher quality to their customers. Stop the “Not Invented Here” syndrome and learn to be open to new ideas.
Read, Listen and follow the change makers, you might be surprised what you learn.