May 2015

The Five Stages Of Idea Acceptance

2015-05-26T18:11:59-04:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

The book What A Great Idea! 2.0 by Chic Thompson is chock full o’ bits of wisdom that help with creativity and creating new ideas.

One bit Chic writes about, is how new ideas are often struck down with “killer phrases.” These phrases reflect the lack of acceptance of something new or different.

We’re all aware of these killer phrases, the killjoy of innovation. People, armed with phrases, jab with…

  • It’ll never work…
  • The only problem with that is…
  • In this economy?
  • Oh yeah, we tried that in ’98… didn’t work.
  • You’re kidding, right?
  • ______________________ ← your favorite here!

Chic points out that killer phrases “are as inevitable in the innovation process as ideas themselves.”

He adds, “psychologists have said that the human reaction to a new idea unfolds something like this, which we could call the Five Stages Of Idea Acceptance.” I’ve turned this list into a handy graphic suitable for framing.

The door-lock analogy is pretty accurate… You can have four of the five locks open, but the door is still closed until all five are unlatched.


By knowing the stages you can either:
(a) have already figured out how to…

  • make it relevant
  • prove it
  • make it safe, and
  • show it is saleable

…when you present it. Or at least:
(b) be aware each of these need to be unlocked as you champion the idea.

Happy locksmithing!

August 2009

You May Be Wrecking Your Own Innovation

2009-09-25T10:55:43-04:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

Innovative ideas – the kind that can transform your company – are inadvertently being demolished. When first presented, many ideas meet wrecking-ball comments such as…

  • “How’s that going to work?”
  • “Good luck getting that done!”
  • “We don’t have time for something like that.” And the classic,
  • “Doesn’t work… Trust me… We tried that years ago.”

We’ve all heard (or perhaps said) killer phrase comments like these. These are offered as a “public service” to the team to prevent us from going off track and wasting time.

But, what have we really accomplished?

  • Yes… we’ve kept the meeting on schedule.

But we also,

  • have made the suggester feel stupid,
  • are causing people to hold back their creativity, and
  • may have destroyed the next big idea.

Instead of immediately leveling them, what if we built on new ideas?

Ninety-nine percent of innovative ideas aren’t simply blurted out in their final form. They need development to reveal their full potential.

Instead of destruction, try construction. Use the idea as a foundation and see how tall we can build the framework. If we want to be as innovative as possible, instead of saying “Yeah, but…” try “And, if…”

What’s the worst that could happen?

We’ve wasted 120 seconds on a thought that, in the end, won’t work?

But what’s the best that could happen?

Perhaps we construct something that does solve the challenge. Even better, maybe it morphs into something completely different – something incredible!

As a bonus, we’ve made the suggester feel valued and perpetuate creative, open thinking – the stuff that leads to future innovative breakthroughs!

In these competitive times, when innovation is considered one of the single most important factors to the continued success of a company… Spare the “Yeah but…” wrecking ball, use “And if…” to construct your own innovation.