"It isn't your responsibility."
What this means is that outside-the-box thinking is a nice place to visit, but
you couldn't possibly live there. When someone uses this phrase, what he's really
That's not your
the other guys take the risk.
isn't in your job description.
not your problem, so don't worry about it!"
What to Do About It
Reframe the situation to show why your involvement is a key to success.
Present a new view.
Those in positions of responsibility are often too close to the problem.
When managers at IBM Credit shifted their perspective from internal specialist
to external sales representative, they immediately discovered ways to reduce
overhead, increase productivity and trim a six-day application process to
Is the naysayer afraid you'll get too involved in the new idea and then get
behind in your work? If you're committed to testing your idea, offer to work
on it after-hours.
Share the vision.
In today's workplace, organizational success is everyone's responsibility.
Show how the problem is affecting your organization's core beliefs.
Become a catalyst.
Explain how you can champion innovation by helping to speed up processes,
knock down bureaucracy and cut through red tape.
Tips For Leaders
Take your organization to the leading edge by evaluating ideas based on merit,
not job function. GE, Dep Corporation and Steelcase break hierarchical stereotypes
to invite shared visions and thinking without boundaries. The next time you
need an innovative solution try asking, "What would happen if we viewed
this problem from a different perspective?"
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."