In Physics, Momentum and Inertia are related.  In the battle for mind-share, they are as well.

If I have an idea, and I can demonstrate, in some small example, how useful that idea can be, then my idea will start to move people.  I will say “we can succeed” and they will say “I’m listening.” 

And I am at tremendous risk of failure.  If I don’t succeed, those whom I moved will not be moved again.

If I have an idea, and I cannot demonstrate how useful that idea can be, my idea will sit still.  Perfectly still.  The amount of energy needed to overcome that inertia can be substantial.  Especially if people have to choose between an idea that is “moving” and an idea that has, to date, been sitting still.

Alas, the choice.  Sometimes you need to choose between two ideas.  Sometimes you don’t.  But when it comes to ideas, perception is reality, and if people ‘believe’ that two ideas are not compatible with one another, it doesn’t matter if they really are.  People will choose.

So if you want your idea to succeed, get some momentum behind it, and cast any other idea that may slow it down as a choice, even if it is not. 

If you want your idea to fail, then let it sit still. 

An example is a powerful thing.

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

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