Have you ever experienced a problem-solving meeting like this: good ideas are in ample supply and momentum and enthusiasm are building. The answers are in sight! Then, right at the end, the bomb falls when someone asks, “Okay. That was great. Now, how do we sell this to everyone else?”


Ernst and Young reported that over 66% of corporate strategies are never executed. Most ideas die prematurely because the people who created the solutions in seclusion attempt to create “buy-in” instead of “ownership” in those for whom they are responsible.



The exhausted boss, the bewildered teacher, the fatigued manager, the tired trainer often have a couple of things in common: they are the content experts in their area, and they also have an additional full-time job — salesperson.


The vast majority of people approach change efforts by assuming they have the one-and-only solution. Through persuasion, the hard-sell, leading questions, and even low-road tactics like smear campaigns, these people exert tremendous energy attempting to convince others of what is right.


Research says that most people aren’t buying it. Why? Think of the last time you were at a used-car lot and were approached by the salesman. How did you respond?



What’s the difference between buy-in and ownership? There are many special traits, the vast majority of which can be summed up by one word: inclusion. When people are included in the creation of ideas, when their motivations are honored, no one has to buy anything — because they already own it.


What percentage of time are you included in the solution-generating process? Perhaps a more important question: what percentage of the time are you selling — or creating ownership from your position?


They following questions (and others like them) have been around for years, yet few have mastered them:


>> What do you think we can do to improve this?


>> Why do you think we should improve this?


    Last week a friend, who runs a mechanical company, told me, “When you include people, when they own the process, your biggest challenge is getting out of the way.”


    What is the difference between what might be and what can be?  You decide.

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