Institutionnal inertia

9 replies
Maybe I do not get along well with people, but I have a problem with institutional inertia toward new ideas.

I know it's not really their fault, I know that inertia is part of human nature but still, it can be frustrating.

How can you show someone or a whole institution the errors of their way if you are inside of it?
#inertia #institutionnal
  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Control..... Take It
    Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
    - Neale Donald Wilson -
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Problem is if you take control you might be slapped with diciplinary action.

    Like being fired.
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    Maybe I do not get along well with people, but I have a problem with institutional inertia toward new ideas.

    I know it's not really their fault, I know that inertia is part of human nature but still, it can be frustrating.

    How can you show someone or a whole institution the errors of their way if you are inside of it?

    For me personally when I am persuading someone, I don't focus on what they are doing wrong, that will just get them all defensive and argumentive.

    What I do is compare the actions they are taking with new actions that could produce better results.

    And then paint a picture of how making those new actions a habit will benefit them.

    I will even use either a story about how I started off in their position and got the same results, but when I changed my results improved. Or I can use another person, or another company as an example, and say something like "Company X was doing, a, b, and c, but when they started doing d, g, and f, they found that... blah, blah, blah."

    so figure out what are the benefits of the actions you want them to take versus the actions they are taking now.

    Then either show them the benefits through example by you practicing those actions everyday (they will see the results of your efforts and that can capture their interest)

    or show them the benefits through a story about a friend, or say you read an article about it, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
    The answer to your question can be found via case study in "The Lean Start Up"
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    I presume you are working there and looking to change things from the inside with their blessing but as they're dinosaurs you don't feel you'd get the blessing and would instead be faced with stony silence 'how dare he try to change the way we've been doing things (failing) for the last 5 years ' .

    Was exactly the position I was in many years ago, business had loads of potential but the boss was nearly retiring, looking to sell up and was switching off every day and certainly the place was NOT open to any new ways of winning clients etc. Drudgery ensued, same thing day in day out, same failures to hit targets due to not having the tools to hit them with, boredom then I started cheating the system , fell out with the slag in HR, complained to the boss about her, faced a disciplinary over it at which she was going to be sitting !! ehhh yeh nice one shes the bitch I was complaining about, good idea to have her in charge, clearly I stood no chance so left having negotiated favourable terms (being paid for the next 4 months as I set my business up) due to the owner at least having some resonance with someone looking to set up their own business.

    Anyway sometimes it aint worth trying to change them, just move on


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  • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
    In this kind of situation it's your responsibility to get them to take you seriously, if their eyes and ears are closed you can consider that a reflection on your part of not being persuasive enough.

    If your informal strategy of discussing it around the meeting room is not working, then you need to put something in writing as a business case to get their attention.

    This means you should outline it like one, as if you were sending it to a real prospect for their perusal..

    Imagine I am a salesperson who wants to convince my company to invest in a subscription database (such as Dun & Bradstreet). I want access to company data on a monthly basis that I can use to build my prospect lists and therefore increase the likelihood of sales from my lead generating techniques and my prospecting calls.

    Here is a document I might put together to present to my bosses:

    Discussion document for a database that will help to rapidly increase sales


    This document is intended to open a discussion between all affected parties that may benefit from the introduction of a subscription database of company data for the purposes of sales and marketing.


    After considerable analysis I have established that an important part of my sales process, which has been somewhat lacking, is to have in depth knowledge about my prospects before I commence any marketing or sales calling activity. Consequently I have personally invested money in some database tools that have given me lists of companies that have a close fit to many of our existing customers. In doing so I have found it much easier to get appointments and make sales because my prospects are familiar with the customers I reference and therefore more agreeable to engage in a conversation. Since using this prospecting approach my sales have increased by over 20%.

    I believe strongly that we would all benefit if our company took a similar approach with all its prospecting campaigns and looked at the viability of using a database software tool to source more appropriate prospects to sell to. I would ask that the following points are considered for discussion:

    Potential Suppliers
    1.Dun & Bradstreet 3.TLS data

    I have conducted extensive research of the different types of options available from the most reliable sources and the three suppliers mentioned all have solid track records and give information that makes it easier to pinpoint decision makers, with full contact details, and even e mail addresses in some cases.


    The advantages of using data supplied by these companies, which I can vouch for myself, is that it cuts down on a lot of calling time trying to establish who does what and who to contact. The contact names supplied are up to date and accurate.
    As I have mentioned it also means we can match our prospecting activities with companies that have similar or related businesses to many of those on our customer base. We already know from our gathering of customer testimonials that it is easier to sell to companies when we have a good reference story. This will compliment that effort and allow us to more quickly identify prospects that are easier to sell to.


    The clear benefits will be that we can have much more effective lead generating campaigns, and more appointments per sales person. I believe that the appointments will have a higher conversion due to the similarity between our prospects and our testimonial references. That has been my personal experience. Consequently more sales will be made by the whole sales force.


    This will take away the frustration many of us have with cold calling and mean that the sales force is more motivated and keen to prospect. Salespeople will be happier, sales staff turnover may well reduce, sales management will be pleased and the company will increase its turnover, giving our Board satisfaction with the way our sales processes are working.


    My proposal is that our company trials some data from each of the above suppliers by purchasing the minimum order value so that we can test the data, as I did myself. The trial period would last for one month, using approximately 300 data records. We can then look for a consensus as to which supplier is the best fit and look at how effective the use of the data was for our lead generating and prospecting efforts. My current preference is for Dun & Bradstreet as the data is more comprehensive, however it makes sense to trial all three before any decisions are taken.

    Return on Investment

    I calculate that with the approximate costs involved we would need to generate 4 extra orders per month from our sales team to pay for the subscription and break even. My personal experience is that I generated 2 additional sales in the first month of using the data, so a return on the subscription is highly likely given that we have 10 sales people in our team.


    The only downside I can envisage is that the experience I have had, where the data clearly helped me to sell more easily, is not replicated by the rest of the sales team when we do the trial. In which case the company will have invested in a trial and would not receive a return on that investment, however the costs are relatively small for the trial period and so the impact would be negligible.


    If my personal experience is mirrored by the rest of the sales team this proposal will have a huge impact on the performance of the sales force and benefit everyone in the company. Ultimately selling will become a more pleasurable, more sales will be made and the management team will have a sales model that is robust and repeatable.

    Let’s look at the document and break it down:

    1. Title: firstly the document has a title which raises curiosity.
    'A discussion document for a database which will help to rapidly increase sales'.
    You want the people that you are looking to involve in this discussion to be intrigued.

    2. Objective: Every discussion document should always have an objective at the start. In this example the objective is to get all the decision makers involved in a conversation about what I am trying to achieve.

    3. Give the readers a background into what it is you are trying to achieve. You could describe this section as being the 'reason for the meeting'
    you want to have with the decision makers (i.e. your bosses.)

    4. Reference a trial: If you have an idea that you want to sell internally then, if possible, trial it in some way yourself. Or refer to another salesperson you know (perhaps a friend from another company) that has had success doing whatever it is you are looking to do. I realize it will not always be possible to do this but if you can it becomes your 'testimonial' in this sales process.

    5. State the alternatives, with FAB included.

    6. Make your suggestion about which alternative you prefer.
    I have included a return on investment. It will not always be possible to do so when you are selling internally. You will not always be able to show in dollars how quickly or how soon your company will get a return back on what it is costing.

    7. State the Risks.
    When you are selling to senior management put a 'risks' paragraph in. This shows them that you are taking it seriously and that you recognize that there is a potential 'down side' if your proposal doesn't work.

    8. Conclusion
    Simply state a few brief lines in conclusion.

    This is how you present a business case to the overlords.

    I have no idea what I'm doing.

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    I've only had three bosses smart enough to realize how sharp I am.

    All kidding aside, you have to assess how receptive the powers that be will be to your ideas. There is the risk of disciplinary action or getting fired because of your "insubordination", or they will make your life miserable so you quit and they don't have to pay for your unemployment. So, step back and determine if the boss is into power, affiliation, or achievement.

    A power oriented boss likes to be the one in charge and tends to be a my way or the highway kind of person. They tend to thrive on the power and the control of others and their environment afforded by their position. Likely, this kind of person will be hostile to your ideas, no matter how good or how presented, and quickly get you out of the way.

    An affiliation oriented boss tends to want to be friends with everybody and wants everybody to be friends with each other. Nice place to work, but not the most effective. This type of boss will also probably perceive you as some kind of threat to his or her culture and finagle to get you gone.

    The achievement oriented boss/culture will probably be your best chance for adoption and implementation of you ideas. The focus in that environment tends to be more on company goals and objectives.

    You still have to present the ideas well and get the buy in. And be aware that people do like to think it was their idea.

    Also, as you step back and assess things, you need to be honest about how great and beneficial your ideas are. Or, are you just a disgruntled person at this job? Are you impatient about getting paid to use you brain? Has this company tried your stuff before and found it did not work? Is it not doable because of some regulations or industry practices you don't know about?...

    Another thing to do is find someone in the organization who is respected and work with them, or at least run your ideas by them.

    Also, if you decide you are not with the right company for your ideas, start looking for one with a better environment for you and create a report for them that incorporates your ideas and use that with or instead of a resume.

    Lastly, I'd google up stuff, or hit the book stores or library, and find stuff about moving up in a corporation and getting your ideas implemented. There's probably a lot of good stuff on the subject from people who can do the corporate world. You're on an entrepreneurial forum, so you might be getting ideas with a bit of the wrong slant on them.

    There's always the idea of saving your pennies to become self-employed or work that at least part-time.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Welcome to Corporate America.

    Whether it's internal change or you as a salesperson pitching change to a corporation, it's a long, political, drawn-out process.

    It's political because you need to know the key players, influencers, buying process, etc., in order to navigate and pitcj your idea successfully.

    ..And this is the reason I much prefer the simplicity of B2C sales, or, selling to small business owners.

    Less BS, easier to speak with the decision-maker, and less internal agendas to deal with.
    David Duford -- Providing On-Going, Personalized Mentorship And Training From A Real Final Expense Producer To Agents New To The Final Expense Life Insurance Business.
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