Today’s Tubespiration – Bumper Harris

Any time you have an idea or a different solution to a problem chances are you will need to persuade others to agree with you.

No matter how great, stunning or compelling you think your idea is, inevitably other people will see things different. They occupy a different worldview to you, and will have their own take, perspective and feelings about your new idea.

No matter how great your genius, how wonderful your idea, other people’s instinct is to say ‘No’ or may even feel threatened by your new idea, or for the need to change in some way.

The old adage that if you invented the ultimate mousetrap, the world would beat a path to your door is simply not true.

The fundamental is you need to sell your new idea in order to get others to agree with you.

The idea that wins, that gets through is often not the best. Rather it is the idea that seems to offer the least risk.

When London Underground Railways wanted to introduce escalators at Earls Court station in 1911 you might feel this would instantly be recognised and received as a welcome alternative to climbing stairs.

Wrong! For many, they were genuinely concerned about safety of these new fangled walking stairways. They needed reassurance, to be convinced that it is safe.

No matter how many times you might tell someone, something is safe they won’t believe you. You need to demonstrate, provide real believable proof.

So, going back to 1911 what do you do if you wanted to prove beyond all doubt that escalator journeys are safe for Londoners?

Legend has it that, an employee called ‘Bumper’ Harris, a man with only one leg, was paid to ride up and down the escalators to prove that if they were a safe for a one-legged man they were, without doubt, safe for the travelling public.

If you have an idea that you want to realize and change your world in some way, you need to consider the issue of how do you sell it?

What are its benefits, specifically to the person who you want to say ‘Yes’?

  • What is their perception of risks involved with your idea?
  • What do you need to do to sell/convince others?
  • How do you make tangible your idea as much as possible?
  • What is the equivalent of a ‘Bumper Harris’ to your situation?

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