Posts Tagged ‘WIFM’

What the mayoral referenda tell us about Change

Friday, May 4th, 2012

10 English cities in Manchester, Liverpool and Coventry just had referenda to decide if they want London-style mayors.  The turn-out was incredibly low, 24% in Bristol, and the proposition was greeted with underwhelming scepticism.  Why you might ask?  The answer is a simple one, this is either viewed as unlikely to solve voters problems or worse still, trying to resolve issues they don’t care about or do not feel they have.  You can never get people to vote for something when they can see no benefit in it… turkeys are more likely to vote for Xmas!

If you want people to change the very first question you need to answer is What Is in it For Me?  If you can’t articulate this clearly, if they don’t believe you can deliver, if they don’t trust you… you are wasting your time and energy.

“Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.”  Will Rodgers

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.” William E. Simon

GM crops and lessons about Change

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

I was listening to a program on the radio about GM crops.  The scientists were getting excited as they believe that they will be able to use the genes from Sicilian blood oranges, which apparently turn red due to the cold night time temperatures there, and consequently are high in anthocyanins to help prevent cancer, aging effects, diabetes amongst other things.  They are also looking to make orange juice which helps you lose weight, grains fortified with the zinc our bodies need and new sustainable sources of Omega-3.

The key phrase was that they have recognised that for GM to have a future it has to offer a clear benefit to the 100% who consume it and not just the 2% who farm it.  This is the clear lesson for anyone seeking to implement Change, you have to deliver relevant benefits to those who you want to change!  Failure to do so only leads to failure…


“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly”   Henri L. Bergson

We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are.”   Max Depree

The oldest English words (and what they teach us…)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Scientists at Reading University in southern England have used a supercomputer called ThamesBlue to model the evolution of words in English and the wider family of Indo-European languages over the last 30,000 years.  Not surprisingly they found that I is one of the oldest words.  This is little surprise but it does illustrate one key point that is at the heart of all Change initiatives and leadership challenges.  You have to deal explicitly with with people’s need to know how your plans will affect/impact them.  This is otherwise known as the W.I.F.M factor (What is in It For Me.)  Fail to address this at your peril!

“Language forces us to perceive the world as man presents it to us.”  Julia Penelope

“We learn what we have said from those who listen to our speaking.”  Kenneth Patton


Me first..!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

I don’t want to a appear to be an old cynic, but when someone suggests something to us, or when Change is in the air, (for most mortal people) the very first thought is “How will this affect me? Will it bring me good things? Will it amuse me? Will make me feel good about myself? Will I be more secure as a result of this?” Obviously, there are many more permutations, and the questions can be phrased negatively as well as positively depending on our mindset. Within the Change business, this is referred to as the W.I.F.M factor (What Is in it For Me?)

Once we have addressed our immediate concerns, we then consider how it may affect us indirectly. How will it impact those people I care for? How will it affect people like me generally (this grouping maybe by class, geographic location, race, religion, age, sex or any number of factors depending on the context)? Finally we may pause to wonder how it affects people in general, but we tend to spend little thought or concern for strangers as we don’t know or understand them. Often they are distant and therefore relatively invisible to us.

This may all seem very selfish, and I suppose it is, by definition, self-centred. However, before we hasten to condemn it or deny that this describes us, we should recognise that this is fundamentally another survival tool that Evolution has bestowed on the successful survivors of the evolutionary race. I think it is to humanity’s great credit that there are so many people who, despite this programming, work so tirelessly for others.

I bring this to your attention for two reasons:-

  1. So that you can better understand others responses, and having understood them, work with them is a positive spirit
  2. So that you can understand yourself a little better too, and perhaps challenge that first, instinctive reaction, and enable you to consider the bigger picture before saying “No!

“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

“Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them – these are the best guides for man” Albert Einstein