Webinar Preview: A Great Idea Isn’t Enough for Successful Change


Today, I'd like to preview the next webinar that I'll be hosting in our KaiNexus Webinar series.

It's going to be presented by my friend, Dr. Mark Jaben and it's titled “A Great Idea Isn't Enough for Successful Change.” You can register to attend live on March 3rd or we'll send you a link to a recording.

Here is a podcast (with transcript) where we preview the webinar a bit.

Please also check out his new book, Free the Brain: Overcome The Struggle People And Organizations Face With Change.

Mark was also previously a guest in my podcast series talking about similar topics:


Mark Graban: Hi, this is Mark Graban, and welcome to the KaiNexus podcast, and we're joined today by Dr. Mark Jaben, he's going to be presenting our next webinar. It's going to be held on March 3rd at one o'clock Eastern. It's titled “A Great Idea Isn't Enough for Successful Change,” and you can register for that by going to kainexus.com/webinars. Again, we're joined by Mark, how are you today?

Dr. Mark Jaben: Really good, Mark, how are you?

Mark: I'm doing well, looking forward to your webinar. It's going to be the second webinar that you've presented for us. Listeners can find that first one in the webinar library, you can search kainexus.com for Mark Jaben or the title of that was “Science Behind Resistance to Change.

Mark, if you could first off give a little bit about your background for the audience before we talk about the theme for the webinar.

Dr. Jaben: Yeah, thanks Mark. I'm an emergency physician by residency training, finished a residency in 1984, and practiced emergency medicine ever since then. Then about 12 or 13 years ago I had the opportunity to live and work in New Zealand, which is where I first encountered Lean, and when I first met you, Mark, actually.

Mark: I wasn't in New Zealand, but… [laughs]


Dr. Jaben: Well, right, but…

Mark: I wish I had.

Dr. Jaben: I was in New Zealand.

Mark: Yeah.

Dr. Jaben: It was an opportunity to learn a totally new approach to change that I had not encountered before. It became a great opportunity for me to have my own little learning lab to learn about that. Subsequent to that, I became certified as a professional coach, and I work with physicians who are burned out.

Most recently have published a book that tries to bring sort of all of this together. That's what the last 10, 15 years what I've been doing.

Mark: Congratulations again on the book, that's a big accomplishment, and we encourage people go check that out. Again, it's called Free the Brain, and it's available on Amazon. Is that what you would recommend, Mark? Where to buy?

Dr. Jaben: Yep, or you can go through the website, which is www.freethebrain.com, all one word. Either way, get you there.

Mark: Cool. Think about the topic of this webinar, and this is a lesson, boy, I've learned this the hard way. This is something I've reflected on as a number stated in the book Practicing Lean that I put together, is that a great idea isn't enough for successful change.

I think back to my own times thinking like we've got something that's clearly better, and it's logically better, and therefore people, they're of course going to choose to get onboard, but the world and people are more complicated than that, right?

Dr. Jaben: I think the reason is that a great idea is in the eye of the beholder, your great idea may work perfectly well for you, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work perfectly well for someone else. It really becomes a matter of, is the other person open to the possibility that your idea works really well for them?

That openness is a function that happens in a totally different area of the brain than the areas of the brain that analyze and create that great idea. Those areas work together, but they're really separate functions. If we're aiming at the analysis of the great idea, and we're getting pushback, then honestly, we're looking at the wrong point of cause.

Mark: In the book and the webinar, you'll cover this in much more detail, of course, in both places, but there are some strategies to help bring people along with change, which is different than forcing buy-in.

Dr. Jaben: Yeah, most certainly. What we'll get in to talking about is what actually is going on in the mind in terms of engaging or when you're approached with a change, how do we respond to that? What do we think about that?

Then the strategy really is how do we coalesce the different versions of the “great idea” into something that people feel they can be successful doing, and are willing to invest themselves to figure out exactly how to make it work.

Mark: What do you mean about the different versions of the idea?

Dr. Jaben: Well, think about it this way. When somebody approaches you with a change that they want, for instance, you form an opinion about that change right away. Is this something that's going to be helpful? Is this something that's going to work? Is this something that's going to make it worse?

Each of us looks at the world in our own way, we each have a different measure of what success means or lack of failure means, and so the solutions that we come up with reflect the need to be successful. Since my success may differ from your success, our solutions are going to differ. When our solutions differ, then there's conflict.

How do we resolve that so that we get to a solution that helps everybody be successful, and then people will be willing to do the extra work to put the change into effect and see what happens.

Mark: Any other thoughts, again this is just a real quick preview of a really rich topic, but any other thoughts you'd want to share with the listeners here of why it would be useful or beneficial to tune in for the webinar?

Dr. Jaben: I think everybody, and listeners can probably list several things going on right now, changes that are happening in their organization that's just not going smoothly. It's not going well, it's unclear why things aren't being adopted or engaged with.

What we're really going to do is sort of unpack that situation and maybe help some insight into where to aim your efforts, make it more successful overall for the whole organization.

If you're running into that sort of situation, if you're bumping up to that, and just not sure why it's not working, what you should be doing, just like you said in the beginning, Mark, something that's logical and appropriate, and it's going to make it better, and why isn't everybody on board with that?

These are the questions we're going to answer. I hope people will come away by the end is sort of an approach of how they want to recognize that situation, and then where to go to address that situation.

Mark: It's a really important topic, and I know you'll have a lot of really interesting and helpful things to share. Again, I'd like to invite everyone to go and register for the webinar. You can go to kainexus.com/webinars. It's going to be held the live session on March 3rd, one o'clock Eastern. If you miss it, you can, of course, find the recording via our webinar library, or our YouTube channel.

If you want to register for the webinar, we will send you a link to the recording if you're not able to attend live. I do encourage you, go ahead and attend, there's going to be a lot of time for Q&A, and opportunities to pick the brain our presenter Dr. Mark Jaben, author of Free the Brain, and again, you can learn more about his book at freethebrain.com.

Mark, thanks again for taking a few minutes today, and really look forward to your webinar.

Dr. Jaben: Thanks, Mark. Appreciate that, and I'm looking forward to it as well.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. My name is Julie Hausherr and I am a Supply Chain Management student from the University of Rhode Island pursuing my Six Sigma Green Belt certification this semester. I enjoyed reading this blog and look forward to listening to the webinar on your YouTube channel. As I complete my certification this semester, it is extremely important for my team and I to be able to understand team members’ perspectives and their reactions to change. Fortunately, the team we are currently working with is eager to improve the process because it will make their jobs significantly easier. However, I haven’t been so lucky in past experiences; what would be your biggest piece of advice when initiating change?


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