Most people would agree it’s easier to start
something fresh then to change something that already exists.

Maybe it’s easier, but is it impossible to change something that already exists?

What stops existing organizations from seriously
considering new ideas or radical changes?

I believe it’s a combination of biases and

Biases are sacred cows, culture, previous
experience (positive or negative), or anything that limits our ability to think
about new directions.

They are something we can’t always touch but we
know they’re there. They’re assumptions
we make with or without being conscious of them.

Sure, other companies are doing this new thing,
but we’re very different from them and it could never work for us.

Constraints are physical, legal, or other
constructs that hinder our creativity.

They look like very sound reasons not to do

A new business model might cost us revenue in the
short term that we’re unprepared to lose. Board demands, contracts, and staffing policies all seem to force our
hand allowing us to make only incremental adjustments to our current course.

Or do they?

Suspend Disbelief

Perhaps the best path toward change is temporarily
banishing bias and constraints from the room.

Start by getting the team to consider how a new
idea might be accomplished, not why it could never work. 

If the team you have can’t do that – change the
team. Pull in some new people and let
the “naysayers” stay in their offices until it’s time to consider constraints.

Give the idea some breathing room.

If the team feels it’s something worth pursuing,
then start bringing the practical thinkers back into the room, but be careful.

Build a list of constraints, but sift and
prioritize them.

Which ones are legitimate and why? Which ones represent unsubstantiated biases?

Are the legitimate issues insurmountable?

Is the idea worth the effort required to remove
constraints and confront biases?

There’s no reason existing companies can’t start

We just have to try a little harder.