But We CAN'T
'Can't' is a destructive little word.
How many times a day do you say or hear the word 'can't' in your business? What about in your own personal life? Try paying attention for a day and see what you find - in yourself and in those around you. You may be surprised at the power this little word is wielding over your life.
When I'm leading strategy sessions, I start counting when I hear the 'can't' word coming from an executive team. They don't know why I'm putting those marks on the whiteboard. When I tell them they are usually shocked at the reality right in front of them. Sometimes I hear 'can't' so often I don't keep up with the tally. Sometimes it never enters the room. Guess which clients are the successful ones?
'Can't' will stop a new idea flow dead in its tracks.
We use that word all too often in business. It usually reflects a need to hold onto the known, the accepted way of thinking, the pattern that is our safe way of doing. In our personal lives 'cant' often signals that we're just plain stuck in a rut. Regardless of the why, the results are always the same when 'can't' comes to visit.
When 'can't' enters the room - progress stops dead.
Sure, there are times when 'I can't 'is the logical answer - schedules are booked, plans are set. I'm not talking about that kind of 'cant'. I'm focusing on 'can't as the excuse, the thought-stopping negative, the tiny little word that deflates innovation and fuels the status quo. The 'can't' that is our knee jerk reaction to a new idea or approach.
To fuel innovation, outlaw the 'can't' word from your business.
Can it really be that simple? Yes, it can. Sure, there's more to innovation than eliminating a single negative word. There's out-of-the-box thinking, hard work, great products and more. Innovation doesn't come easily, we have to apply ourselves and focus our efforts to create, and then manifest, business innovation and distinction.
Innovation and 'can't' are like fire and water.
We want the fires of innovation burning in our teams. We fuel them, stoke them until they're white hot and roaring. That's where true distinction is born, in the fires of innovation. When we allow the 'can't' word to enter the discussion, the fire is drowned,the chance for innovation gone - up in smoke.
Just for a few days, try fueling the fires of innovation with 'what if' and outright no-limits brainstorming. No negatives - just pure, unfettered opportunity.
Then try adding a simple variation to further fuel the flames you've kindled.