My wife Mariana is an incredibly good cook….more like a chef. Pretty much anything she makes is going to be delish. Just ask some of our friends. Before she would finish the sentence “do you want to come over for dinn…” they would be at the door.
Not so much with young kids
But that’s not exactly how our kids saw things when they were small. Isa, our daughter, didn’t want to eat anything that wasn’t white or yellow in color: cheese, cheese products, Cheeze-Its, cream cheese on white bread, Hawaiian rolls, etc. And our son Patrick was worse. He always would ask her… “mami, is this chicken” even though it was clearly pork or steak. As long as Mariana nodded her head and said “uh-huh” he would eventually give it a try.
For them, at that age, anything foreign food-wise was a no-go zone. “No thanks, please make me chicken nuggets. “
Try it three times. If by the third bite you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it
Circumventing this predisposition against trying anything new, Mariana came up with the saying above. And it actually worked!
It’s mostly a psychological thing…
You go into it knowing you are going to hate it. “It’s going to be disgusting…” you tell yourself.
But it’s not. On first bite, its not so bad. Maybe not great, but not the disgusting awful food you expected.
“Hey, this is not bad at all.” Definitely not as good as those chicken nuggets mom makes me, but not bad.”
“This is pretty good stuff…mami, can I have some more?“
The same can be said about software adoption
When considering implementing a new software technology at your firm, it’s initially viewed from a negative perspective, just like my kids’ food adoption experience:
“Man, this is going to be a pain in the ass…”
“Do we really need to do this??”
“We have a perfectly good process already.”
“I don’t want to have to learn something new.”
“I’ve heard horror stories of companies switching to that software.”
Once you get past all the initial negativity, follow Mariana’s “try it 3 times” advice:
Try it three times. If by the third software iteration it’s not useful, you don’t have to use it
Initial implementation of a software tool will be wonky at best. It will be configured using assumptions and ideas that you think will work, until users actually start using it and run into bugs, user experience (UX) issues, missing options, etc.
You will need to react quickly to user feedback by fixing the bugs, improving the UX, adding the missing options, etc. Then get it back into the hands of those same users as fast as possible to test again.
With the second iteration, your users will see that their feedback was indeed implemented and taken seriously. Just this alone will lower the mental roadblocks about adopting this software. In fact, at this point, they will start thinking of the software as something they could actually use for their work.
Continue getting user feedback, discuss with your users, and implement quickly as needed to get to the next iteration.
By the third iteration, you should know if the software is a go or a bust. Either users will embrace it, or they will shun it.
Just like my kids’ food experience. When Mariana said “try it 3 times, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it”, she meant it. Broccoli was one of those things that Patrick didn’t like, and she didn’t force him to eat it (he likes it now).
The same goes for your software implementation. Some things will work, and some won’t. But if you follow the “try it 3 times” approach, you will have given it a fair chance.
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