Sorry, I can’t do that

One of the most difficult things to deal with in any company are the people that are happier saying “We can’t do that” than “Let’s see if we can figure out a way to do that.” We’ve all worked with them. They almost seem relieved when they can say “We can’t do that.” It means they’re safe. Their world won’t change.

The best case scenario with these types of people is that they are a drag on creativity and innovation, worst case is they are a barrier to it.

Their attitude comes from fear and insecurity. People like this are afraid that if things change they will not be able to survive. They feel their existence is secured when they say “We can’t do that.” The same goes for external people that tell you that you can’t do something.

Every idea comes with its hurdles. Some ideas have lower hurdles. The really good ideas usually have very high hurdles. Its knowing how to navigate these hurdles that is key. And with the “I can’t do that” crowd, the main hurdle is fear. That fear is sometimes presented in a way that is veiled as confidence. Learning to recognize this and figuring out how to navigate past these types of people is not easy. But for those that can do it, success happens more often than not.

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One Response

  1. Trouble about your boss blogging is that when he writes a post like this, you can’t help but wonder, “is he writing about me?” As I’m well aware I’ve given you my share of “it can’t be done.” (and naturally I think it’s always about ME)

    I think there’s that inherent fear in people in exploring ways in which things can be done — the fear that someone else will do it and that when someone else does…it makes them irrelevant.

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