Selling Disruptive Change: Expect Resistance









Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

George Washington Carver


BY Brad Hall| 01/10/14 – 06:00 AM EST

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — In many industries a handful of companies account for most of the industry market share. For these companies, maintaining share means growing with the industry. But most industries do not grow fast enough to satisfy shareholders. In order to grow faster than the industry, high share companies must continually change their business models. Pushing harder on the same model is rarely sufficient to meet growth expectations.

Think of Apple. For decades it was a low-growth PC maker with a solid market share. Apple’s recent growth came from a new business model that included: smart phones, iTunes and retail stores. But it took a new CEO to drive that change. Or Disney, a successful but low growth theme park company that changed its business model to include: resorts, cruise ships, and consulting services. Again, credit must go to Michael Eisner, the CEO who changed the model.

Why are big changes so difficult?

In 2005, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Barry Marshall, an Australian physician. In 1984, Dr. Marshall found that ulcers were not caused by excess stomach acid from stress; ulcers were caused by bacteria. His work was rejected by academic journals and scientific colleagues again and again. He wrote, “When the work was presented, my results were disputed and disbelieved, not on the basis of science, but because they simply could not be true.”

In frustration, Dr. Marshall drank the bacteria himself and within three days he had an ulcer. But it was not until 1994, a decade later, that the community officially accepted his conclusion.

Recall that Dr. Marshall stated that his scientist colleagues rejected his work, “… not on the basis of science, but because they simply could not be true.” Did these scientists use their extraordinary analytical capabilities to assess his claims, or did they use their emotions?

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning psychologist, found that we all make quick decisions based on what we perceive as familiar. Our initial decisions are almost always emotional. Once we make our decision, we look for evidence to support it. Thus, we quickly accept ideas that fit our current view of reality and reject those that don’t.

Let’s move this theory into the world of work. A project team decides to reinvent leadership development. They change the development strategy from management training classes to on-the-job coaching through structured monthly business reviews. Yet, the executive decision makercannot accept this new approach despite successful pilot projects and years of complaints that training classes don’t improve leadership.

Just like the disbelieving scientists, corporate executives are also emotional human beings. And all too often, their emotions kill great ideas.

Tips for Selling Disruptive Change

When making a proposal, slowly build the business case before giving the answer. Throughout your presentation, ask the decision maker if he agrees. Lead him down your path:

First, describe the problem using examples the executive has used before. Try to use his exact words and state precisely when he said it.

Second, explain why the company made previous decisions. Show how each decision logically fit the environment at the time. Then, describe how today’s environment is different and ask the decision maker how those decisions might work today.

Third, present the new proposal as simply building on past successes. Present it as if it was a simple version update — even if it is actually a dramatically new approach. Use familiar words. Words matter.

Don’t push too hard; paradigm changes rarely sell the first time. They are difficult to understand and are rapidly forgotten because there is no “fertile ground” for the seed — the new idea — to grow. Assume the decision maker will quickly forget. Plant the seed and come back again and again to add water until it begins to grow roots. Tell the decision maker your same story using the same words again and again. Be patient. Let the seed grow.

Passing a business school class in decision theory does not mean you make the grade as a rational decision maker. All humans are emotional beings. We live our lives in an emotional soup. Like most fathers, my children constantly questioned my decisions with, “But why? Give me a reason!” Typically, all I could come up with was, “Because I said so, and I’m the Dad.” It kills me to admit that I also live in an emotional soup.

Making business model changes is difficult because we all resist challenges to our view of how things should work. We can complain about irrationality, but we cannot change it. So don’t fight it. Understand it, accept it, and then design an influence strategy aligned with reality.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet’s regular newscoverage.

Hall was formerly Senior Vice President of Talent at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and IBM Asia-Pacific’s executive in charge of executive leadership and organization effectiveness. During his tenure, IBM was twice ranked No. 1 in the world in Hewitt/Chief Executive magazine’s “Top Company for Leaders.” He is the author of The New Human Capital Strategy and has been an instructor in Duke Corporate Education’s teaching network. Hall completed his Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology at Tulane University, with a dissertation on people management practices of Japanese corporations. He current resides in Shenzhen, China.




A little about me and my expertise – video




Facts of Arizona – year 1848 to 2013



Feel free to contact Walter regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities and needs, your property or your Investment Needs for Comercial Investment Properties in Phoenix.



View my listings and my profile at:


What is a CCIM?



Please go to my web-site and get all the newsflashes and updates in Commercial Investment Real Estate in Phoenix and Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix daily


Follow me on Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter:

Follow Me on Linkedin:

Follow Me on Google+


Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS

I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate.  so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix.  The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.



  We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing.  Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.


If you have any questions about Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Investment Properties in Arizona,  I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion in Commercial Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Properties in Arizona with you.Obviously I am also in this to make money, but it could be a win-win situation for all of us. 


Please reply by e-mail or call me on my cell 520-975-5207 or Office:480-948-5554




Thank You


Walter Unger CCIM

Associate Broker,  West USA Commercial Real Estate Advisers

7077 E. Marilyn Road, Bldg 4, Suite 130

Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Cell:      520-975-5207   

Office :  480-948-5554

Fax: (480-658-1172


View my listings and my profile at:             


a little about me and my expertise – video


commercial-investment real estate adviser-land specialist


What is a CCIM?



Delivering the New Standard of Excellence in Commercial Real Estate 


  • Commercial Real Estate Scottsdale
  • Commercial Real Estate Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Arizona
  • Commercial Investment Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Investment Properties Scottsdale
  • Commercial Investment Properties Arizona
  • Land Specialist Arizona
  • Arizona Land Specialist
  • Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Phoenix Land Specialist
  • Land For Sale Phoenix
  • Land for sale Arizona
  • Commercial Properties For Sale Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Sales Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Arizona
  • Commercial Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Commercial Land Phoenix
  • Multifamily land Phoenix
  • Retail Land Phoenix
  • Industrial Land Phoenix
  • Land Commercial Phoenix
  • Land Retail Phoenix
  • Land Industrial Phoenix
  • Land Multifamily Phoenix
  • Industrial Land for sale Phoenix
  • Land Industrial
  • P
  • Investment Real Estate


Disclaimer of Liability

The information in this blog-newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.