Do ideas get killed in your business?

According to ?What If! & Allison, here are the best ways to kill innovation in your business:

  • “Yes, but ..”
  • “We’ve tried it before ..”
  • “That won’t work because ..”
  • “Have you really thought about the implications ..”
  • “We don’t have time for this right now ..”
  • “Put it in an email ..”
  • “How much is this idea of yours worth?”
  • “Do a cost benefit analysis and then we’ll talk about it ..”
  • “OK, I hear you but we’ve just invested millions in doing it another way ..”
  • “That’s fine in theory, but it doesn’t work like that ..”
  • “The new manager isn’t going to go for it. I already know.”
  • “That just doesn’t make sense ..”
  • “We should develop this one the way we did the last one ..”

Do any of these resonate? If so, then your challenge this week is to modify your behaviour. Look out for times that you or others kill ideas within your business. By using awareness and practice it is possible to change the words you use to grow fresh ideas for business growth, rather than to kill them.


Killing innovation 102

According to Allison, other idea killers are:

  • Being afraid of how we’ll look to someone else.
  • Having a ‘fixed’ versus a ‘fluid’ point of view.
  • Listening for ‘logic’ rather than ‘energy’.
  • The belief that doing the same action, only harder, will get a different result.
  • Addiction to answers – a natural response to how we are taught. Before you hunt answers, look for all the questions.
  • The belief that if the subject is important, we need to be serious.
  • Relying on previous experience to create something new.
  • Avoiding friction.


Allison K, 2005, ‘Secrets from the innovation room’, McGraw-Hill Companies

‘Sticky wisdom’, 2002, ?What If! Ltd.