"Great idea, but not for us."
Beware of tunnel vision. The light at the end of the tunnel may actually be
an oncoming train. This Killer Phrase also disguises itself as:
This place is
not our problem.
might work in your department, but not mine.
you working for the competition?
not ready for that yet.
What to Do About It
Try to broaden the focus with one of these strategies.
Help the naysayer visit the future where your idea has succeeded. Then, look
Put first things first.
Would it be a great idea for the team after solving some other problems?
If so, focus on the bigger problems to clear the way for your great idea.
Will the idea benefit your organization?
A language gap may create additional barriers to your idea. Describe
your suggestion in terms that allow you and the naysayer to work from the
Don't get discouraged. A failed proposal simply means you've found the solution
to a different problem! Save your ideas in an Idea Bank.
Tips For Leaders
Create environments that reach across traditional boundaries. Steelcase, Inc.
has offices set up as clusters of desks with no two people from the same department
sitting next to each other. This "cross-functional" approach builds
a dialogue that enhances solutions and sparks innovation.
Go to Killer Phrase #2 "If
it ain't broke..."
Go to Killer Phrase #3 "We've
always done it this way."
Go to Killer Phrase #4 "I'll
get back to you."
Go to Killer Phrase #5 "It'll
Go to Killer Phrase #6 "No!""
Go to Killer Phrase #7 "Great
idea, but not for us."
Go to Killer Phrase #8 "Do
you realize the paper work it will create."
Go to Killer Phrase #9 "It
isn't your responsibility."
Go to Killer Phrase #10 "We
tried that before."