Friday, July 15th, 2016 | 3 min read
It can be difficult to champion out-of-the-box ideas to people who don’t share your vision. Recently, I sat down with four Change Agents in the marketing industry to discuss how they drive new methods and ideas. From addressing individual doubts to promoting ongoing innovation, these four go-getters share their best advice for inspiring change within a complicated landscape.
“So, we are always improving and reinventing ourselves in order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. We’re always finding a better way to do something than what we’ve done in the past. It’s almost like a small start-up inside Shell. To that end, I try to maintain a sense of curiosity within my team. I try to make them feel excited about their jobs, while inspiring them to always do better.”
“In order to get people to change, you have to understand why they don’t want to change. You have to understand where they are coming from, what are the problems, what are their motivations, all these different things. You can’t get an “organization” to change. You actually have to get a collection of people to change, and a collection of individuals that all have different reasons to do what they want to do.”
“Some of our most innovative clients still work around seasons and product releases. So when we approach them with an atypical vision, the response is, “That’s way too far for us, that’s five years in the future.” In those instances, we have to be firm with what we think is best, while partnering with them to build out gradual steps toward the ideal state. For individuals, teams, or companies in a similar situation, I think having perseverance, seeing a roadmap, and believing in your ideas is key.”
“When leading an organization through change—you have to have a clear vision and direction as to where you’re going and why you’re doing it. You also have to have patience. Things move very fast in tech, but they also tend to move slowly. People have to change over their way of thinking, their processes, their technology, etc. I think a combination of innovation and patience gets you where you need to go.”
It’s not easy being an outspoken advocate for innovation to a doubtful audience. These four Change Agents understand that perseverance is worth the payoff. By understanding individual needs, always aiming to better yourself, and maintaining tenacity and patience, you increase your chances of generating buy-in and effecting positive change across your organization.