Fear in the company: why it prevents us from daring the new


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Everyone knows that there is one Company must walk for it to flourish. From now on, innovators are not in demand, not custodians of the apparently tried and tested. Your initiatives are aimed at a better future, but they can also stir up enormous fears. Fear in the company: why it prevents us from daring the new

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Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by the business network LinkedIn.

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There is no comprehensive insurance for completely new ideas

If you want to stand out from the average and mediocre, you have to dare to try something different, better, original and not yet seen. It is often about unconventional initiatives. This is not always easy to achieve within the company. Some decision-makers like to stick to the usual, familiar and tried-and-tested, because they have been successful so far. But the established is already out of date per se, especially since everyone does the same.

Not everyday activities, but the special, fascinating, remarkable has a bright future. So fresh, bold, courageous ideas are needed. But such ideas are very fragile and easily trampled to death. A stiff breeze often blows towards them and their creators, because they have to defend themselves against discouragement, risk aversion, disseminators of concerns and don't-go-sayers.

Markets that do not yet exist cannot be analyzed, only hopefully thought ahead. A nightmare for the classic manager. He doesn't want adventures, but exact numbers and a fixed plan, so to speak, fully comprehensive insurance for new ideas. That forces everyone in Company to faint-heartedness and conformity.

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Only the forward thrust of busy free spirits brings us forward

If everyone had always stuck to the established, we would still be sitting in the savannah today. It was the fearless free spirits and clever thinkers who broke conventions and laid the first stepping stones into uncharted territory with the joy of discovery, creativity, curious questioning and creative ideas.

They have brought humanity forward in all ages and led us to where we are today. As the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said so wonderfully: "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world - in fact, it is the only way the world has ever been changed."

With passion, persuasion and drive

Passion, persuasiveness and drive are needed to bring new patterns of thought and action into the world and to convince others. Those who do this also need support. After all, they have to "drum up" and represent their cause well: thoughtfully, emphatically, patiently and at the same time emphatically.

Because it's not just the technical that counts. Emotions also play a decisive role. New initiatives must be compatible and acceptable. A talent for communication, diplomacy, tactical skills and an understanding of deeply human issues are crucial here - especially when it comes to major advances.

Win supporters, advocates, followers and influencers for yourself

In the case of larger advances, it is ideal if you have an active sponsor and advocate, so to speak, a patron saint at a higher level. But if you have enemies there - for whatever reason - and no one to protect you, the thing is usually through before it began.

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So if you want to get your ideas through, you have to do it internally the convince who are known as internal influencers and have a direct line to top decision-makers. Good communicators therefore surround themselves with confidants, they gather followers and forge alliances. How do you go about that?

How to forge alliances

You put your ideas to the test in internal preliminary discussions and let them mature, something like this: "I would like to discuss a very first idea with you, it is a premature baby, so to speak, who still needs support."

Or you are specifically looking for a sparring partner, something like this: “I would like to discuss something with you because your opinion is important to me. When will you soon have time for a coffee together? "

Anyone who is involved in change measures in advance and was able to contribute their thoughts does not perceive them as a threat. Those who win allies, like-minded people and comrades-in-arms are never lost.

A good communicator is always an expert on people

Every conversation we have is only as good as the feeling it leaves behind with those involved. Sometimes a single wrong word is enough and success is gone. Because every communication not only transmits information, but also emotions. Sympathy and antipathy can hardly be brushed aside.

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But in business, as a rule, only the factual is specifically disclosed. The emotional aspects, if the interlocutor is even aware of them, are often hidden and made safe behind a poker face.

Get to the bottom of the cause

In such cases it is better to carefully investigate the real causes, something like this:

“I have now understood your professional reservations. Is there next to ... and next to ... possibly something else where the shoe pinches? I have a feeling you are somehow not entirely comfortable with this. What else is it about? "

Everyone thinks, feels and acts in their own way. Even if it is sometimes difficult, we have to accept that third parties can and may have a completely different view of things. Because just as every face is unique, the brain acts differently in each individual. And often we are scared.

People's tendencies to persevere are often extremely great

"The greatest difficulty is not convincing people to accept new ideas, but convincing them to give up old ideas," said British economist John Maynard Keynes once aptly said. Change brings us progress, but at the same time collides with people's tendencies to persist.

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Every change means that something hitherto unknown arises that nobody knows for sure whether it will be better or worse than the one before. The first step is always the hardest, because it means: breaking with habits, leaving your comfort zone and throwing previously valid beliefs overboard.

Our brain likes routine

Our brain also likes routines because routines firstly bring security and secondly help save energy. Above all, people with a static mindset tend to cling to what they know and to preserve what they have already achieved. You find it difficult to dare to try something completely new with great dynamism.

Especially when things get "tight", we fall back into automatisms and reel off familiar behavior. This is exactly what gets in the way of solving new problems. So we must first learn to “unlearn” what no longer serves us. Only then can new solutions arise for both old and new problems.

What is preventing us? Operational blindness, complacency, or fear

So what actually prevents a contact person from saying yes to a new initiative that is coherent in and of itself? This can be operational blindness, complacency and the illusion of invincibility. Or simply fear:

  • the fear of not being able to keep up with new topics,
  • the fear that a lack of knowledge and skills could be exposed,
  • the fear of loss of power and meaning or dismantling,
  • the fear of losing one's benefice or post.

When it comes to change, some brains are extremely good at imagining downright apocalyptic scenes. Even if such fears are unfounded, they are real to the person concerned. It is no wonder that urgently needed change is often boycotted out of pure self-protection.

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