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Four ways to change their minds and get them behind change and innovation.

Almost every organization has legacy thinkers and we have to deal with them to get things done. They’re often the people in senior leadership and have years of experience under their belts but they can be frustrating to work with because of their resistance to innovation and new ideas. They’ve got the been-there-done-that mentality to the point of holding the rest of us back, or they tend to have an ‘I know better and I’ve seen more than you’ attitude that shuts down ideas. There are also legacy thinkers who love to relive their glory days and successes of years past, which keeps them from opening up to new ideas today.

The thing with legacy thinkers is that we need them — they have experience, they sit in leadership roles — for whatever reason, we need to find ways to get them on board with change and onboard with the innovation that we’re trying to put forward. So how can we do this?

I have four strategies that can break down these barriers legacy thinkers have against change and innovation, and to get them behind these ideas to move the organization forward.

1. Have empathy

2. Honor past work

3. Connect the dots

4. Guided questions

These simple yet effective strategies are the key to changing the mindset of legacy thinkers and tapping into their expertise and experience to innovate.

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