Yes, that’s what I said – you don’t need buy-in. We’ve been taught that for any change to stick that we must get buy-in from our people at the outset. We’re supposed to agree on the goal, agree on the problem, agree on the direction of the solution and agree that the solution will bring the benefits before we proceed with implementing a solution.
But as you know, it can be difficult to get all this agreement upfront. Because in the end, all this agreeing is just talk. We’re
looking at the logic and agreeing it makes sense. So the reality is that while your people say they agree or say that you have their buy-in, you may not.
It’s not that they are lying; it’s what they believe in the moment. The logic does make sense. But how can they really say they buy into a solution when they haven’t tried it and don’t fully understand what’s involved (no matter how much has been explained)?
At best they can say – it looks good on paper.
And testimonials from other companies (or other forms of “proof”) isn’t going to change that.
So I’ve been taking a different approach since early 2009.
I DON’T ask for or expect buy-in at the outset. What I do ask is …
Are you willing to give it a try?
Any answer other than yes is a no. (REALLY! – I’ve learned the hard way!)
If my prospect says yes, then I instruct them to ask their team the same question. Only those that answer a definitive YES become
Many of the Theory of Constraints solutions are counter intuitive. How can I expect anyone to fully “buy-in” upfront? I can’t.
But what I can expect is that they will try anything I ask them to do.
Now you may be asking – why would anyone agree to try whatever I ask of them? Well, it’s because they’ve realized that their current approach isn’t working and that they DO really want better results. If they are satisfied with their current approach or level of results at some level (even if it’s bad) they won’t agree.
This is the approach I use for operational and process improvements.
Now, as they begin to implement, I make sure that the first steps they take result in big improvements. And when they see the improvements from their actions – they start to actually buy-in to the solution. And when this happens they eagerly ask for the next steps.
That’s how we’ve been implementing our Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program which is based on the Theory of Constraints Simplified Drum Buffer Rope. The promise of the program is reduced lead-time and improved due date performance with less chaos. But NOBODY 100% believes that it will work at the outset (they are hopeful).
But it does work, THEIR actions worked — and then they buy-in. (I’m smiling just thinking about it. I love doing this!)
Can you use this approach?
Dr Lisa Lang