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The Importance of Buy-in

Blog

The Importance of Buy-in

Pierre Séguin

One thing I learned from my years as a nerd leading enterprise software projects was the importance of buy-in from the people whose lives will be affected by the new thing. You can't just plop new software in front of people and just expect them to use it, let alone like it, if they weren't involved early on in the process.

You need their input to make sure that the new way of doing things is going to work for them, and you need their support with respect to why you're doing it. Why should they alter their lives for this "great" new process/tool/system decreed by the occupants of the corporate ivory tower? Failure to convincingly answer this question early will make people not like you, or what you're trying to do.

Getting early stakeholder buy-in is most certainly the approach to take when developing a new product like Brili, hence the need to start testing early and often, which is exactly what we've been doing.

And you know, it's not very different with introducing new stuff into kids's lives at home.

the-buy-in-srategy

When planning a routine for your child, or helping them step through the stages of solving a problem, you want them to "buy in" to the plan as much as possible. You actually want it to be their plan, if at all possible (guided by you, of course.) If you don't let your kids be involved in the process of developing their plan, there's a risk they won't be terribly motivated to follow a program that was imposed upon them. Or, if it doesn't work out exactly as they'd hoped, they'll blame you for your lousy plan and their ultimate failure to follow it. My observations have been that the amplitude of this backfire is multiplied by a kid's age.

So how do we make change successful while helping kids learn and feel empowered?

This morning I attended a great workshop presented by Diane Vandenbossche at LDAO Halton. Her advice: instead of telling your child all of the things that are going to happen to work towards a goal (like getting out the door in the morning), sit with them and ask, "What needs to happen first?" Discuss it if need be, then, "What needs to happen second?". Repeat until done.

This ensures that your kid's point of view is taken into account. Maybe they like doing things in a particular way that still gets the job done. If you're aware of it, you can acknowledge it through this process and achieve a better outcome. Your child is also learning to think through the steps to achieving an outcome on their own, which teaches them to become better organized.

The routine setup portions of the Brili app are going to be ready very soon, and I hope our early users can test this out by sitting with their kids to configure their routines, and share their experience. I know I plan to.