Is your organization lacking innovative ideas? Does it seem as if your employees are deficient in creative thinking skills?
If so, how frequently do you hear these phrases around your organization?
- It’s not my idea
- We’ve never thought of that before
- We don’t know how to do that
- Things are crazy busy right now
- We don’t have the right people on board
- It seems like it may get us in trouble
- We’ve done something similar before
- People could think it’s a boondoggle
- That will stretch us too thin
- I don’t see how we can pull it off
- Nobody in our industry has ever done anything like that
- They’re better at it than we are
- I don’t know anything about that
- We’ve got too many initiatives going on
- It’s too new for our market
- We already doing too much in that area
- They’re not expecting anyone to do that
- Our salespeople have too many things to sell already
- I know what the forecast numbers say
- It seems like such a small deal
- We’re already trying something else
- It seems too late to do anything about it
- We’ve never done anything about this
- I don’t understand why that’s necessary
- No customers are asking for that
- It seems impossible to pull off
- It’s not in the budget
- It seems like overkill
- We don’t have time for that
All these phrases could end with a period. A period is final. A period is definitive. A period says, “We’re done here,” like nobody’s business.
When you put a period at the end of any of these phrases, you are blocking potentially innovative ideas others are trying to share.
Making a change to this doesn’t require major creative thinking skills though.
If you really want to stimulate innovative ideas, instead of a period, put a comma after each of these phrases followed by, “but it could be a great idea.”
A comma says there are nuances to explore, possibilities to consider, and more ideas to come.
If one of your organizational goals is developing more innovative ideas this year, implement this simplest of creative thinking skills. You can even click this graphic, print it out, and put it up around your office.
How simple is that? - Mike Brown