The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas

  • 3h 30m
  • David Schonthal, Loran Nordgren
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2021

Watch your most innovative ideas take flight by overcoming the forces that resist change

The Human Element is for anyone who wants to introduce a new idea or innovation into the world. Most marketers, innovators, executives, activists, or anyone else in the business of creating change, operate on a deep assumption. It is the belief that the best (and perhaps only) way to convince people to embrace a new idea is to heighten the appeal of the idea itself. We instinctively believe that if we add enough value, people will eventually say "yes." This reflex leads us down a path of adding features and benefits to our ideas or increasing the sizzle of our messaging - all in the hope of getting others on board. We call this instinct the "Fuel-based mindset." The Fuel-based mindset explains so much of what we do, from adding countless trivial features to software, to bolting a sixth blade onto a shaving razor.

By focusing on Fuel, innovators neglect the other half of the equation – the psychological Frictions that oppose change. Frictions create drag on innovation. And though they are rarely considered, overcoming these Frictions is essential for bringing new ideas into the world. The Human Element highlights the four Frictions that operate against innovation. Readers will discover:

  • Why their best ideas and initiatives often get rejected – despite their undeniable value
  • How to disarm the forces of resistance that act against change
  • How to transform the very Frictions that hold us back into catalysts for change

Perfect for business leaders, product managers, educators, and anyone else who seeks to bring new and exciting ideas to life, The Human Element is an indispensable resource to help people overcome the powerful forces of human nature that instinctively resist change.

About the Author

DAVID SCHONTHAL is an award-winning Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Outside of academia, David’s work in the fields of design, innovation consulting and venture capital have led to the creation and launch of over 200 new products and services around the world.

LORAN NORDGREN, PhD, is a Kellogg Professor of Management. His research and teaching explores the psychological forces that propel and prevent the adoption of new ideas. Loran has received numerous awards for research and teaching, and has worked with companies throughout the world on a wide-range of behavior change problems, a process he calls behavioral design.

In this Book

  • The Law of Attraction—The Battle between Fuel and Friction
  • Thinking in Fuel—The Reasons a Fuel‐Based Mindset Rules the World
  • Inertia—Why We Stick with What We Know
  • Overcoming Inertia—How to Transform a Novel Idea into a Familiar Friend
  • Effort—Why We Follow the Path of Least Resistance
  • Overcoming Effort—How to Build Aerodynamic Ideas
  • Emotion—Why the Best Ideas Produce the Most Anxiety
  • Overcoming Emotion—How to Quiet the Fears That Impede Progress
  • Reactance—Why We Feel the Impulse to Resist Change
  • Overcoming Reactance—How to Help Your Audience Persuade Themselves
  • Three Case Studies—Putting Friction Theory into Practice
  • Notes