We all know people who are stubborn. Perhaps it’s a parent or relative who walk around saying – ‘it’s my way or the highway.’ Or maybe it’s a friend who irritates you when they are closed minded to new ideas. Or, as one would never guess, perhaps, the one who is the most stubborn is actually you?
Resistance, is the reaction of turning away from anything we think poses a threat to us. The threat can be any type – physical or emotional, and it causes us to put up a guard in order to protect ourselves. That’s why the new and unfamiliar are often met with resistance – it signals a red flag and we play our cards close.
In terms of innovation, resistance plays a huge part, not just in stopping us from continuing on with the project but in signaling to us that the idea is worth further pursuing. You see, when one suggests an innovation, say to create a flying car, you might think that the idea is so outlandish that you quickly dismiss it. But when they suggest a car that comes with a magnetic door panel so businesses can pay the average driver to put ads on it, you feel your temperature rising and begin to list all the problems with that idea. You begin to get agitated and want the negative feelings to end. Although it might be a problem that you are initially prone to resistance when hearing a new idea, as Function Follows Form would state, the problem is actually the solution. As soon as you feel or notice the resistance from within yourself or others, it is a strong cue that you are on to a good idea and you should continue to develop it. The next time you find yourself being resistant to an idea, try thinking it through once more. By being hyper aware of your level of resistance, you can be more in tune to potential developments.
Sometimes you’re on the other end, offering a solution to someone else, and you’re the one facing resistance. Remember, the others are going through that initial stage of resistance and will need some more time to come around. When you face this resistance, do not drop your idea and assume it didn’t generate interest. Bring it up again later and in further meetings and see if your results change. This awareness can have long term effects on the innovations your team will be able to produce.