Skip to main content

A Quick Way To Predict Resistance


Want to get a quick estimate on where your pockets of change resistance are going to come from, and how much of it there will be?

First: consider your solution against two key lenses:

  • How much better is the new solution to what’s currently in place (from the user’s point of view), and
  • How much more painful is the new solution to what’s currently in place (again, from the user’s point of view).

Then, drawing inspiration from the fantastic Jobs To Be Done framework, consider your change against the below 5 insights. (Noting that the customers mentioned below are our impacted stakeholders.)

  1. better-performing, more painful product will only appeal to underserved customers. These are customers who have unmet needs and are willing to endure more pain to get a job done better. – everyone else will resist the additional pain as they won’t value the additional benefit.
  2. better-performing, less painful product will appeal to all customers. – this is the ideal.
  3. worse-performing, less painful product will appeal to overserved customers (those with no unmet needs). It will also appeal to nonconsumers. These are people who are not even attempting to get the job done as there is no current viable solution. – while everyone will appreciate the pain reduction, many will miss key features they were previously using.
  4. worse-performing, more painful product will only appeal to customers for whom limited (or no) alternatives are available. This happens in unique or atypical situations. – while most organisations have an internal monopoly on what processes and systems are used, there’s usually more alternatives than you think (i.e. shadow processes and workarounds).
  5. Some products are “stuck in the middle”: they only get a job done slightly better or slightly easier. Such a product will likely fail to attract any new customers. – this is fine for incremental improvement, but not for overhauls or transformational change.

Question: Which type of internal customer does your solution appeal to?

Prepare accordingly.

Food for Thought

Value is in the eye of the beholder. What you value isn’t what they do.

Brendon Baker

Brendon is a leading expert in strategic framing and inside-out change. He has led and guided over $11 Billion in transformative projects and programs, from transformations to teddy bears. He is the author of the best-seller Valuable Change, and niche top seller Creating High Value PMOs. Brendon now spends his time helping leaders cut through the noise to focus on what matters; working with them to create new realities.

Leave a Reply