When your people say, “We can’t change that,” what they mean is that it’s hard. Changing one thing would mean having to change something else. It might even lead to unintended consequences and a cascade of unanticipated problems.
Some ways to get off dead center:
• Identify power brokers. Which people have unique abilities to get things done? Talk with them before moving ahead.
• Create allies. Discover what individuals care about and get them to trade favors so they can move their agendas forward.
• Separate ideas from champions. If a good idea comes from someone who is disliked, no one will listen. But if the idea is recorded and circulated with other ideas, it may fly.
• Ask for help. Request volunteers for various assignments. Assign the rest.
— Adapted from Leading Innovation, Jeff DeGraff and Shawn E. Quinn, McGraw-Hill.