35 Ways to Kill Ideas

I do not know the author of this list, but I found it to be a concise expose on how leaders (or anyone) can stifle innovation. It bears heeding that all ideas are valid ideas and some, if percolated sufficiently, may even lead to ingenious breakthroughs. Some of the world’s greatest inventors started out with ideas that at first bombed. Never underestimate or dismiss an idea, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at first. Here are “35 Ways to Kill Ideas.” Use these statements only if you wish to remain status quo.

  1. Don’t be ridiculous
  2. We tried that before.
  3. It costs too much.
  4. It can’t be done.
  5. That’s beyond our/your responsibility.
  6. It’s too radical a change.
  7. We don’t have the time.
  8. That will make other equipment obsolete.
  9. We’re too small/big for it.
  10. That’s not our problem.
  11. We’ve never done it before.
  12. Let’s get back to reality.
  13. Why change it; it’s still working OK.
  14. You’re two years ahead of your time.
  15. We’re not ready for that.
  16. It isn’t in the budget.
  17. Can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
  18. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
  19. Too hard to sell.
  20. Top management would never go for it.
  21. We’ll be the laughing stock.
  22. Let’s shelve it for the time being.
  23. We did all right without it.
  24. Has anyone else ever tried it?
  25. It won’t work in our industry.
  26. Will you guarantee it will work?
  27. That’s the way we’ve always done it.
  28. What we have is good enough.
  29. But we would also have to change the …
  30. It’s in our future plans.
  31. We’ll have somebody study that problem.
  32. It’s against our policy.
  33. The supplier would never do that.
  34. The customer wouldn’t accept that.
  35. When did you become the expert?

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