The Jiu-Jitsu Move

When a new technology or a new entrant or some new behavior comes into a market, the initial reaction is often to reject it.

But, as my partner Brad likes to say, the better move is to take that new energy coming at you and use it to your advantage. He calls it the “Jiu-Jitsu Move.”

A good example is the emergence of Wikipedia in schools about fifteen years ago. Most teachers freaked out and told their students not to use it for primary research, citing the “inaccuracy” of the service.

But a few clever teachers started assigning their students Wikipedia entries to fix. That is a Jiu-Jitsu move.

Another example is personal health information. Many in the health care industry see the increasing amount of our health care information in our own hands as a risk to them and their profession. But a couple years ago when I went in for my annual physical, when I was using an iPhone, my doctor asked to see my Health app. He said it was another data point for him to use in my care. That was a Jiu-Jitsu move.

I spent the day yesterday at a real estate industry event and talked to a lot of agents about the fact that their clients are often more informed than they are these days. I encouraged them to embrace that fact and use it to their advantage and not fear it. It is hard when you have grown up in an industry when your advantage was information and you no longer have that working for you.

But I honestly believe the only thing to do with progress is embrace it. Fighting it is futile.