Business Performance Improvement Technologies - an Introduction

Process Improvement: Gaining a Buy-In - Part 4


Simply understanding the layers of Resistance is a major advantage in getting a buy-in from anyone - peers, subordinates, bosses, outsiders with a "stake" in the idea.

And, you don't have to be an expert in the use of the Thinking Processes to work in such a way as to avoid creating resistance ... although proficiency helps.

But it is essential to have at least some working knowledge of the ways the Thinking Processes work, because even if you don't use them rigorously your chances of getting a buy-in increase greatly if you at least follow the flow of each tool, even if just in words (in contrast to using the detailed logic diagrams).

Some Practicalities when using the Thinking Processes

There are different types of buy-in for different types of people but in each case, there are 4 practicalities.

1.      If possible, set enough time aside to go completely through whatever stage of buy-in you choose, from beginning to end i.e. take the time to work through a whole CRT, or a whole Cloud with assumptions and Injections, or a whole FRT. If you rush or shortcut the process, you'll likely lose the buy-in.

2.      Teach the other person or people only the absolute basics of reading a tree (whether CRT, FRT or PRT ... refer to Part 3 if you don't know what these are). They do not need to know how to build a tree. They do not need to know the specific technique used to "scrutinize" trees to avoid logic problems. But they do need to understand that the arrows in a Current Reality Tree of Future Reality Tree are cause-effect arrows (If ... then), that a magnitudinal "and" means each cause adds more, that a "banana'd and" means that all the causes under the banana must exist in order for the effect to exist, and that they should not read ahead but stay with what you're reading aloud.

3.      Contrary to human nature, when you present a logic tree, whether a "real" diagram or simply a verbal expression of the tree, do so slowly! Read it aloud using "If . Then," and give them time to think and to respond - either with a question with a disagreement, or a signal that they understand. If you are reading a tree with someone in order to simply gain their understanding of the issue then you do not have to read it as carefully; but if you are reading it for buy-in, then read it thoroughly.

4.      Contrary to human nature ... be very ready to accept and ink-in any of the audience's suggestions or corrections, unless they are plain wrong. Use a different colored ink so they can plainly see their contribution is being accepted. If they ARE plain wrong, you have to gently make this clear without raising defences ... there is a formal technique for doing this known as "Predicted Effect.".

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