Innovative ideas – the kind that can transform your company – are inadvertently being demolished. When first presented, many ideas meet wrecking-ball comments such as:
- “How’s that going to work?”
- “Good luck getting that done!”
- “We don’t have time for something like that.” And the classic,
- “Doesn’t work… Trust me… We tried that years ago.”
We’ve all heard (or perhaps said) killer phrase comments like these. These are offered as a “public service” to the team to prevent us from going off track and wasting time.
But, what have we really accomplished?
- Yes… we’ve kept the meeting on schedule.
But we also,
- have made the suggester feel stupid,
- are causing people to hold back their creativity, and
- may have destroyed the next big idea.
Instead of immediately leveling them, what if we built on new ideas?
Ninety-nine percent of innovative ideas aren’t simply blurted out in their final form. They need development to reveal their full potential.
Instead of destruction, try construction. Use the idea as a foundation and see how tall we can build the framework. If we want to be as innovative as possible, instead of saying “Yeah, but…” try “And, if…”
What’s the worst that could happen?
We’ve wasted 120 seconds on a thought that, in the end, won’t work?
But what’s the best that could happen?
Perhaps we construct something that does solve the challenge. Even better, maybe it morphs into something completely different – something incredible!
As a bonus, we’ve made the suggester feel valued and perpetuate creative, open thinking – the stuff that leads to future innovative breakthroughs!
In these competitive times, when innovation is considered one of the single most important factors to the continued success of a company… Spare the “Yeah but…” wrecking ball, use “And if…” to construct your own innovation.
Paul Williams is a professional problem solver at Idea Sandbox. He can help you create remarkable ideas to grow your business. You may read more at his website and find him Twittering as @IdeaSandbox.