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Buy-In. John Kotter’s new book

Harvard Professor John Kotter is creator of the famous Eight Step Change Framework for leading change. Prof Kotter’s new book, Buy-in, is about how to prevent new ideas getting shot down.

In the book, Prof Kotter lists the typical objections that new ideas encounter and gives you useful ‘come back’ arguments for each objection. In the latest Hub TV clip (that’s a link), he gives you a brief example. Some of them are obvious. But, your team and their direct reports may find this way of rehearsing the pros and cons useful for when they have to defend a new idea.

The 60 second book summary

There’s a 60 second summary of the book on John Kotter’s website here .

The Game

A bit of fun: There’s a game created by Prof Kotter’s team to help you or your team anticipate where objections will come from – the type of people who object to new ideas and typical objections.

One criticism from me: Kotter presents all these objectors as ‘difficult’ people with an agenda or axe to grind. That’s often not the case. Often people who challenge new ideas are sincere and not just trying to be difficult. It is important to challenge new ideas so they can be tested in argument, and so any potential problems with them can be worked out in advance by adapting the idea. Your critics are often your best friends in making an idea strong by spotting its weaknesses so they can be fixed. So, don’t assume critics are ‘the enemy’ or just being difficult. Bear that in mind and this is still a useful exercise (and a bit of fun):

Three more one-minute videos

If you like the 60 second clip in Hub TV from Professor Kotter, there are three more clips from him, with three more objections and how to argue back on the Harvard site on this link

Phil Dourado


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