22 Ways to Kill an Idea

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    22 WAYS TO KILL AN IDEA

    22 ways to kill an idea is useful as a handout at meetings where new andinnovative ideas need to be generated.

    The facilitator can quickly review these (with humour if at all possible) as away of requesting participants to refrain from idea-killing behaviour.

    If there is enough good humour and trust among the participants and thefacilitator, the facilitator can set up a system for the meeting whereby theparticipant that is caught (by other participants) with the most offences mustbuy a round for all other participants.

    The following are guaranteed ways to destroy the creativity and innovationwhich are the life blood of productive meetings.

    1. Ignore ItDead silence will intimidate all but the most hardened advocates of anidea.

    2. See it Coming and DodgeIf you see an idea coming, quickly change the subject, or better stillend the meeting.

    3. Scorn ItIf you decide it, especially before the idea has been fully explained you

    will destroy anyones confidence.

    4. Laugh it Off

    5. Praise it to DeathDoing this will guarantee everyone else hates the idea and theoriginator will wonder whats wrong with it.

    6. Mention that it has never been triedAll the better if its a novel solution.

    7. Prove that it isnt newIf you make it look like something known, then the fact that this is bettermay not emerge.

    8. Observe that its against policySince nobody knows what policy is youre probably right.

    9. Mention what it will costEspecially if this is much less than what it saves. Of course, on theother hand if it doesnt cost anything then it cant be worth anything.

    10. Oh weve tried it all beforeEspecially if the originator is new this will show him hes an outsider.

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    11. Cast the right aspersionGood put-downs will draw ready applause and few ideas will survivethat.

    12. Find a competitive ideaThis is dangerous as you might end up with an idea.

    13. Produce twenty good reasons why it wont workThe reason it will work is then lost.

    14. Modify if out of existenceYou seem to be helping it along and by the time the originator wakesup it is lost.

    15. Encourage doubt about ownership

    Didnt Joe suggest the same idea. While theyre wondering the ideawill whither and die.

    16. Damn it by association of ideasConnect it to someones pet hate and theyll kill it for you.

    17. Try to chip bits off itIt may come to pieces

    18. Make a personal attack on the originatorTheyll spend so long defending themselves theyll forget the idea.

    19. Score a technical knockoutBring up some unfamiliar regulation or use technical jargon to obscurethe idea.

    20. Postpone it

    21. Let a committee sit on it

    22. Encourage the author to look for a better idea

    Usually a discouraging quest.