The question came up during a Brainzooming innovation training session on “Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation” about how to deal with the fear of change which can cripple efforts to introduce innovative business ideas into an organization.

Crisis Just Ahead sign with a bad day-2

One of the best ways to conquer this innovation roadblock is the widespread understanding and belief that an organization’s current path will be much worse without innovation. Think an organization's impending financial collapse. As I paraquoted Butthead in a recent tweet, “For creating change, financial crises kick ass.”

If you don’t have a financial crisis to throw into the change mix, however, coupling an emotional appeal with legitimate customer and marketplace insights is a next best option to counteract the fear of change.

Which emotional appeals are best to use in pushing innovation? Here are five to consider:

  • Excitement – What about a potential innovation-centered future is much more compelling personally and organizationally than the current state?
  • Wonder – Are there elements of the future state which will make today’s reality pale in comparison?
  • Safety – Can a new situation deliver levels of comfort and peace of mind unimaginable without substantial change?
  • Hopefulness – Will knowing more about what is to come create a motivating sense of anticipation for the results which follow near-term change?
  • Ambition – Is there a brighter financial future awaiting those who make it through impending change and whatever pain it may bring?

Each of these emotional appeals can help drive successful organizational change strategy, but the important question is what strategies have worked for you to make change more palatable?Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you create and implement positive change in your organization.

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