The Broccoli Challenge

By Margaret

Mar 12

This weeks insight:

I started out as an Engineer. I believed that if something works then it would work out. Get it? Well, it turns out that this just isn’t so. A great solution that works doesn’t necessarily mean that people will buy and use it. We call this our broccoli challenge.

Walk into a fast food shop full of fried chicken plus some raw broccoli for sale. What will most people choose? Broccoli is better for you, it will help you live longer, clearly the best choice. However I wouldn’t want my livelihood depending on people buying the broccoli!

Leadership development (that works) is a bit like broccoli. It takes work, so unless you are super motivated, or someone tells you that you have to do it, you probably won’t. It’s taken me a long time to realise this and move on from focusing on a solution that first works, to a solution that people intrinsically want (and still works).

We need to reframe and even hide leadership development as an outcome of helping people deal with the challenges and opportunities of everyday work life (remember the jobs-to-be done from early insights). It’s actually a small change yet it’s a huge reframe for how we develop. I wish I knew this at the start.

Thanks for reading!


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