Creativity is one of the most valuable pieces what we are looking for in our employees, in our colleagues or friends and after all also in our self. Creative ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. It is crucial for moving forward, for changing the way we operate. If we want to change our old life, old thinking then it is possible when we use our creativity. So, creativity is a trait that should be celebrated and encouraged.
But in our society usually, there are a lot of people who shot creative ideas down often unintentionally. If you do not want to kill creativity around yourself it is important to learn and to aware some commonly used statements that most likely will kill creativity.
Before we learn some statements it is interesting to look at a few prime examples of what might not have happened if folks listened to the naysayers. I learned those from Harvey Mackay and his Nationally Syndicated Column.
- “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us,” according to a Western Union internal memo dated 1876.
- Silent film star Charlie Chaplin said, “Moving pictures need sound as much as Beethoven symphonies need lyrics.”
- “I do not believe the introduction of motor-cars will ever affect the riding of horses,” said Scott-Montague, MP, in the United Kingdom in 1903.
- An engineer at IBM in 1968 commented on the microchip, “But what is it good for?”
- Cambridge University Aeronautical Engineering Department’s response to Frank Whittle, after viewing his pioneering designs for the jet engine, “Very interesting, Whittle, my boy, but it will never work.”
- “Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night,” said American movie great – executive Darryl F. Zanuck.
- Phil Wrigley, one of the owners of the Chicago Cubs, said in commenting on night baseball in 1935, “Just a fad, a passing fancy.” (In 1988, the Cubs, at last, started playing night games.)
- “The personal computer will fall flat on its face in business,” said Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment.
- Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, received the following response from his Yale professor on a paper outlining his idea for overnight delivery service: “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”
Harvey Mackay: Don’t be afraid to be creative – be afraid not to be creative.
Commonly used statements that most likely will kill creativity.
It is time to learn some important statements. First, listen to yourself and your friends around. Beware if you catch yourself using these statements. They are the most likely to kill creativity:
- It’s not in the budget.
- The boss will never go for it.
- Great idea! Let’s form a committee to tackle it.
- It will never work.
- That’s against our policy.
- Who will we get to do it?
- Let’s think about it for a while.
- Let’s discuss it some other time.
- Why not leave well enough alone?
- It’s too late to fix it now.
- It’s too soon to fix it now.
- We have done it this way for so many years, and we still make a profit.
- Why fix it if it isn’t broken?
- We tried it five years ago and it didn’t work.
- That’s not how we do things around here.
- That’s the kind of idea that cost your predecessor her job.
- It will take a long time to research this idea.
- That’s not my job.
- The competition already does it that way.
- The competition doesn’t do it that way.
- Let’s let the competition try it first and see what happens.
- That isn’t in our job descriptions.
- If we do it, they’ll wonder why we didn’t do it sooner.
- It will create more work for the rest of us.
- Sounds like a good idea . . . Let’s run it by legal.
Consider: Are you using any of the statements daily? Monitor yourself for a period of time and cut something out if necessary 😉
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