How Ideas Die: The #1 Reason

Good ideas sometimes die.  Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk
Good ideas sometimes die. Photo: Thomas Hawk

A person can have the great idea, but if that person cannot convince a number of people: the idea dies.

Good ideas do die.  Good ideas must have good advocates.  Good advocacy and good idea makes an idea live.

Ideas need advocates like humans need oxygen.

The Leader as Communicator

The Leader’s #1 job as a communicator: to discover why people believe the things they do.

Wife says “I don’t like this type of movie.” Husband says “Yes you do.”  Wife learns: he is an idiot.

Wife says “I don’t like this type of movie.” Husband says “I understand you don’t like this type of movie.  What type of movies do you like?  What do they have in common?  What do you feel when you see those movies?  What do you feel when you watch this movie?”.  Wife shares.  Husband learns.

Proving to somebody that they are wrong is not going to lead them to say “thank you for helping me identify the error of my ways”.  Proving to someone that they were lazy is not going to lead them to take decisive action.  Proving to someone that they were stupid is not going to lead them to score well on the exam or do a great job on the report.

“Why does this person think he is right?”

The most important question: Why does this person think he is right?

Everyone who states a position, takes an action – believes that it serves a positive purpose, whether conscious or unconsciously.  Everyone has good reasons. Your job is to uncover their reasons.  You may not see them as good reasons, but they are reason enough for that other person.  You can only help them change if you start from where they start.

Your Question to keep Ideas Alive

Positions are the what. Interests are the why.  If someone resists: Why do they hold this position?  What benefit are they getting emotionally, strategically, personally, financially that makes them want to hold this position?

Find a way to show that the new idea can give them the same or more benefit.

Don’t try to prove them wrong.


7 responses to “How Ideas Die: The #1 Reason”

  1. Easy looks. Other issue is facing the reality of personal interests. There are none so deaf as those who will not hear

  2. Reblogged this on sematmk and commented:
    Very True……

    1. Thanks for sharing 😉

  3. Great post indeed.

    On the first idea of why do some ideas survive while others die I would you suggest reading “The tipping point” by Malcolm McDowell.

    The last part of your post is exactly what “interests based negotiation” is about vs. “positioning based negotiation”.

    As always, very inspiring post

    1. I remember “The Tipping Point”! Great book.

  4. Even if you think that a person in front of you is totally and completely wrong, always assume that s/he is still 2% right, and try to understand what that 2% is…..

    Having said that…. I think that Georgia is the best country in the world! 😉

    1. Never been to Georgia… but I trust you 😉

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