Ideas That Threaten

the clown eats itEvery idea that’s worth its salt will be rejected out of hand.  That’s just how it is.  You can get angry because you didn’t get the support you think you deserve or you can accept the fact that their negative reaction is about them.  The first way you shut down and your idea dies on the vine.  The second way you let their negativity pass right through you and continue your uphill slog until your idea is commercialized.  Either way, it’s your choice.

It’s difficult to let others’ negativity pass though you.  It may be easier to flip the situation on its head.

When confronted with an exceptional idea, people generate a negative response.  The underlying feeling is fear, but usually manifests as aggressive dismissal.  Instead of reacting with anger, maybe you can learn to see their fear-based reaction as a signifier of significance.  When you have a tooth with a cavity and you drink cold water, your tooth creates a reactionary zing of electrical energy, a tell-tale sign of the underlying decay.  The zing signifies the significance.  Just as the cold water elicits an electrical response from the cavity, the exceptional idea elicits a negative response from the person.  Don’t worry about the negative response, revel in it.

The only thing better than an idea that is so good it threatens is an idea that’s so good no one can understand.  These ideas are so deep, no novel, so twisted they conflict with conventional wisdom.  These ideas confuse everyone, especially the experts.  At first the experts aren’t threatened because they don’t yet understand.  They chuckle and take pity on you for thinking such strange thoughts.  Just as a negative reaction indicates significance, their chuckles and pity are leading indicators of significance.  Don’t let their reactions deter you, let them inspire you.  As your unconventional wisdom seeps into them and they begin to understand, their chuckles will morph into aggressive dismissal.  This tell-tale sign makes it clear you’re on to something.

If your idea doesn’t get a negative reaction, you’re not trying hard enough. Think bigger.  If your idea doesn’t threaten your most profitable product, come up with one that does.  If your idea doesn’t shake the fillings out of your business model, go away and don’t come back to you have one that does.

Companies don’t need more ideas, they need ideas that are more creative.  They don’t need more continuous improvement, they need more discontinuous improvement.  And they don’t need ideas that build on success, they need ideas that dismantle it.

If your ideas don’t threaten, don’t bother.

Image credit — Ed Schipul

One Response to “Ideas That Threaten”

Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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