It'll Never Work

“If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Is your company telecommute-ready? Listen to people talk:

“You have to be face-to-face to do business.”

“Strong teams have to be co-located.”

“A good business relationship begins with a handshake.”

“You can’t hide behind all that email stuff. You have to be there.”

Sure, telecommuting saves employees money. It saves employers business travel costs and some of the costs of providing office space. It reduces pollution. It saves commute time, which employees most commonly use to do more work. It improves work/life balance, employee satisfaction, and retention.

And none of that means a thing in a “can’t be done” culture. Early adopters of telecommuting risk their careers to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So what can a would-be corporate telecommuter do? Win over the doubters by taking advantage of opportunities to wow them with remote work skills that can be demonstrated in the office. Host a lively and productive team meeting with the team across the country. Deliver a knock-their-socks-off presentation to customers in a remote location. Report good results from a meeting on the east coast in the morning and the west in the afternoon. Better yet, chair a meeting for a world team.

Have you had to deal with nay-sayers? What have you done to win them over?

2 thoughts on “It'll Never Work

  1. Ralf Lippold

    New ideas always head on barriers (mostly mental models in
    people’s heads) and pushing won’t make the change happen.

    Stepping back after some intervention and watching how the
    process goes on and emerges into urgency and the willingness
    of people to look at new things, and then try them, finally use
    them to the better.

    Let the process decide and DON’T PUSH rather PULL the others
    into new thinking. They have to have the choice to take action
    themselves.

    Best regards

    Ralf

  2. admin

    Excellent point. Indeed. Reminds me of that old proverb, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

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