In some recent posts, I´ve been drawing upon some of the winning strategies in Bob Prosen´s new book, Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company. I think five is such a great number: it´s manageable and that alone makes his promise that much more appealing. As I sift through his book I wonder about the people who grew up on theory and who, without it, are lost. So I went to the source on that and a few other questions I have about kissing theory goodbye. Here´s a portion of a Q&A I conducted with Bob recently.
Leslie: Bob, I love the title of your book but wonder if there may be some people still stuck on the merits of theory. How do you reach those people without alienating them?
Bob: Theory is vital because it enables speculation and testing new ideas, which become facts when proven. Theory helps us identify and solve the unknown and brings us a step closer to the future. We need theory to challenge the status quo! In business, however, when it comes to execution, leaders want action and results, not theory or philosophy. Kiss Theory Good Bye exposes theoreticians to practical methods and procedures used to get results once theories have been validated. They truly compliment one another.
Leslie: With so many progressive management and leadership theories (oops!) so prevalent why, oh, why do so many people get stuck doing the same thing over and over again even though the results are less than stellar? Isn´t that comfort zone a little too much like quick sand?
Bob: With change comes some degree of pain. Here is what most people think about when considering any form of change. If the pain of change is not less than the pain of the current environment, we don´t change. There are two ways to create change. We can either increase the pain of the current environment or decrease the pain of change. I wrote Kiss Theory Good Bye to address the latter by giving people proven tools that decrease the pain of change. Using proven methods that reduce risk and increase certainty gives us the confidence we need to change.
Next time: more Q&A with Bob Prosen