Guaranteed ways to kill ideas

The manager who doesn’t want to encourage new ideas doesn’t have to. There are ways of discouraging people who think they have something worthwhile to contribute. Try these when anyone comes up with an idea:

Ignore it. There is no better way to intimidate the person with an idea than to greet it with stony silence.

Laugh it off. “That’s a good one. How long did it take you to dream that baby up?” Guaranteed to kill any idea at birth.

Point out that it’s never been tried before; therefore it can’t be very good.

Point out that it’s been tried before. This is particularly effective with newcomers. It makes them realize what outsiders they are.

Mention what it will cost in terms of time, money and personnel. The fact that the expected savings are several times the cost will then pale into insignificance.

Kill it with technology. “Not bad, except that if we adopted your idea, we would need three pulsating oscillographs to trace the effects of reduced rheostat control. You’ll have to admit that that’s out of the question in view of the present state of the art.” Sure.

Postpone it. If you can’t kill the idea on the spot, put off its adoption. A few well-timed postponements and even the originator will admit that it’s old hat.

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