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How to Notice a Frightening Idea

Time to Read – 42 Seconds

It happened last week during a discussion on our Coaching Qualification – I was very clear on how we should offer it in-company, when someone suggested the complete opposite. The specific discussion isn’t relevant here, what is though, is my reaction – I froze on the spot.

You may know the feeling – when you hear an idea, thought or opinion that goes against a strongly held belief. Our first reaction is “no,” and once we have reached that conclusion – that we are “right” – we stack up the selective evidence to back it up.

But what if such moments hold the breakthrough that we all really need – in our lives, careers and in our organisation?

The ones that jolt us out of our comfort and familiarity zones.

Maybe it is the very ideas that we immediately reject, that hold the key to move us fast forward.

So, over the next week, listen out for those very ideas – you will know when you see or hear them – the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up in fear. Indeed, the faster you freeze, the more the idea may help you move forward.

Because let’s be honest, the whole innovation and creativity industries have all become a little too fluffy and friendly – and what we really need to move forward are some frightening ideas – frightening to us, to our organisations and to our competitors.

Here’s to you geting very scared this week


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10 Responses to How to Notice a Frightening Idea

  1. Your poll is a bit simplistic in that it’s set up as an exclusive or (as a computer programmer might put it). Innovation and creativity are natural talents but like any talents, they can be developed by others. In fact the tip that you’ve left today – about taking notice of frightening ideas – would be one way to develop those talents.

    Inate or learned, the real question is: does it matter?

  2. Absolutely! Beware of confirmation bias – it oh so easy to reinforce ourselves with our own beliefs rather than explore the possibilities and opportunities of a new way of looking at things. Sometimes the new way won’t end up being an option or the best thing to do but why shut the door before you’ve at least looked through it….

  3. Isn’t this all about listening to others ideas and allowing others a voice? Then deciding on whether to act on it or not?
    That’s just good practice but it takes a brave man or woman to change a long-held view in such a way, no matter how frightening.
    Imagine a politician doing that! It just wouldn’t happen. So they should perhaps do some more listening.

  4. Listening to others and acting on their ideas is a brave thing to do but vital in business.
    You can’t just have yes people working for you. Innovation is key.
    So listening to an idea that may stop you in your tracks but, on reflection, is a good one, can be a life-changer.

  5. Great that you were able to stand back and appreciate something like that David.
    We can all live and learn each day.

  6. I don’t believe the poll is simplistic.
    You either believe in natural talent or being able to work on something.
    Natural talent sometimes has to be used in conjunction with hard work.
    Sportsman who aren’t the most talented can get by on graft. But just graft doesn’t get you anywhere as you have to be talented in the first place.

  7. Thank you for your comments – Leon Benjamin sent this quote – “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” Howard Aiken

  8. It is always best to share the ideas and to make the company better. Otherwise if you are suddenly not there, that expertise is lost. It’s selfish to hold on to good stuff.

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