These dreamlike sounds were very different from Elgar’s usual musical style, and if he had started his symphony with them his audience would likely have been baffled. They might even have thought that they were listening to music by some other more modernistic or impressionistic composer. Indeed, their bafflement could have become strong enough to diminish their willingness to listen.
Elgar carried his audience with him by starting with what was familiar and then gradually introducing something new and innovative. We too can apply this approach when introducing and implementing new ideas. It is especially effective for gaining support from within cultures that are very traditional in their thinking (like Elgar’s Edwardian audience!).
When you next need to introduce and gain acceptance for new and innovative ideas, think about the following:
- The current context or situation and how your ideas are relevant to and grow out of it.
- The specific steps you can take to help people relate your ideas to their personal experiences and current situations.
- How you can present your ideas as additional options that complement and build upon existing approaches.