What if you looked for “what not to do” ideas?

We LOVE to follow in the footsteps of other people who have been there and done that. It’s easier. It’s practical. We get this type of information from books and/or biographers.

But what book authors and biographers rarely mention, is all the mistakes that lead that specific person or company to all their successes. Nobody likes to make mistakes, and nobody likes to talk about them. Yet, that is where all the “lessons of success” are.

Of course, looking at the bright spots is a good idea. I’m not arguing that. But how about also looking at the reversal. More than looking for good ideas, I look for “what not to do ideas”. The ones that “impede progress”. I stay clear of those.

I’m not looking for the ones that say “engage employees or they’ll leave” type of ideas. If you’re in the “change the world game”, then that shouldn’t be a point of discussion for you. What I’m looking for are “what not to do ideas” that probably won’t resonate until later down the road.

Take this one for example:

Bummer! No interaction allowed. They just killed their ability to cultivate relationships with people outside their four walls. They just killed their ability to gain deeper insights, the type of insights only interaction can give you.

“What not to do ideas” are in the eye of the beholder

These “what not to do ideas” are not out there advertising themselves. They don’t have a “terrible idea” tag on them like the one above. People and organizations won’t say “hey, here’s a dumb idea. Take it!”. That’s why you have to look beyond the obvious. Think about all the “supposed bad ideas that have no future” venture capitalists have ignored.

Ask yourself: Why are people ignoring this? Why is this a bad idea? Who or what is dictating this behavior?

Perception separates the innovator from the imitator.

What have you spotted recently that fit into the “what not to do” category of ideas?

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