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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?

  1. It’s not my idea
  2. We’ve never thought of that before
  3. We don’t know how to do that
  4. Things are crazy busy right now
  5. We don’t have the right people on board
  6. It seems like it may get us in trouble
  7. We’ve done something similar before
  8. People could think it’s a boondoggle
  9. That will stretch us too thin
  10. I don’t see how we can pull it off
  11. Nobody in our industry has ever done anything like that
  12. They’re better at it than we are
  13. I don’t know anything about that
  14. We’ve got too many initiatives going on
  15. It’s too new for our market
  16. We already doing too much in that area
  17. They’re not expecting anyone to do that
  18. Our salespeople have too many things to sell already
  19. I know what the forecast numbers say
  20. It seems like such a small deal
  21. We’re already trying something else
  22. It seems too late to do anything about it
  23. We’ve never done anything about this
  24. I don’t understand why that’s necessary
  25. No customers are asking for that
  26. It seems impossible to pull off
  27. It’s not in the budget
  28. It seems like overkill
  29. 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.

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How simple is that? Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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13 Responses to “Creative Thinking Skills: 29 Phrases Blocking Innovative Ideas”

  1. Derek Slater says:

    Variation #30: “We don’t know if it will work.” Well duh :). If somebody’s already proven it will work, it isn’t really an innovative idea, now is it?

  2. Great for pointing out such a subtle difference between periods and commas. We might just have too often used the wrong punctuation in our lives. If we allowed for “,” and “…”, we would probably have lots of more creative ideas.

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