Inertia: Productivity and Performance


Inertia: the resistance to a change in velocity!

Resistance comes up for everyone almost all the time, in lots of different ways, with lots of different intensity. As a productive leader, it’s important to pay attention to where there might be some inertia – resistance – for your own productivity. Whether in your personal productivity, your habits, your procrastinators, or the way in which you do your work. What’s the sticking point for you? When it comes to your people productivity, where’s the resistance showing up in your direct reports performance?

The resistance pyramid, devised by Nieder and Zimmeman, is a simple model that can provide guidance for three types of resistance. This model describes three key areas to resistance:



Consider your own resistance or inertia: does it align with any area in the pyramid?

Consider your direct reports, does their inertia or resistance align with any area in the pyramid?

What to do

When people are not knowing what’s going on or they’re not understanding what’s happening around them, think of lack of clarity during times of change, which can trigger inertia or resistance, then communicating more is key. Especially communicating more regrind the WHY or the VALUE of the work/change/task.

If it’s not able, then training, a skill development requirement, and that’s often more tangible and easier to fix because you can see it and do something about it quite quickly and somewhat easily. If someone’s not able to do X, then get them X training.

If the issue is not willing, this is attitude or mindset. Encouragement, including more listening, stepping deeper into what their attitudinal resistance might be will help shift the mindset or highlight what’s needed to help have a mindset shift.

The resistance pyramid is a useful framework, for working out where you might start when it comes to any feedback conversations and performance conversations you have with your people. When you can identify what’s driving the resistance you are placed to not waste time during feedback conversations, focus on the real issues and not get side-tracked. The resistance pyramid aligns neatly with the model used in Successful Feedback, to help you deliver the feedback conversation.

Let the pyramid help stop inertia:

“If there were no beginnings and if there were no endings, we would have the absence of inertia and the presence of stagnation.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough


I’d love to know your thoughts…

Here’s a video you might like to watch:


Successful Feedback Half-Day Workshop

Wednesday 6th February 2019

Brisbane CBD

One Ticket for Two People

More details here.

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