4 Ways to Kill Ideas and Crush Creativity

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Listen, no one likes a new idea. They're scary, and they lead to change. Our goal is to stay exactly where we are. After all, you’re already perfectly happy, right? Good.

Well, the BEST way to stay exactly where you are is to crush all creativity in your work, in your teams, and, hopefully, your entire life. That’s the goal. 

Here are a few great ways to do that.

1. Judge Every Idea Quickly and Carefully

Ideas are a poison—shame, negativity, and doubt are the antidotes. To ward off any risk of new thinking, make sure that you (and anyone who works with you) focus intently on other people's judgment.

The enemy here is safety. If you’re not careful, a supportive atmosphere can promote a pervasive sense of acceptance that will, unchecked, eventually lead to exploration, curiosity, and (god forbid) joy.

Subject any and all new thoughts to intense criticism and a healthy dose of skeptical judgment. Before long, you’ll be keeping those dangerous new thoughts inside, without any risk of letting them out to breathe.

2. Focus completely on popularity and mass appeal

Our watchword here is BLAND.

Imagine the fuzziest, largest, least-focused group of people possible, then work to make every single one of them happy. Self-censor any thought that might make said group uncomfortable, or alienate any single one of them.

Done properly, you should produce only the milkiest of milk toast concepts, completely devoid of originality or flavor. Well done.

3. Banish all restrictions and focus

A complete lack of pressure and limitations is a beautiful way to ensure you’ll keep new ideas at bay. Creativity is a game of problem solving and innovation. Working against a deadline, or under strict requirements, can cause us to hone-in on what's important.

To help smother that human instinct to thrive under pressure, ensure absolutely no pressure at all. Every project should be pie in the sky—pure fantasy. Your ideas will go absolutely nowhere.

4. No diversity

OK, it’s a team project. More brains means more ideas, right? Bleck. How do we stifle that?

100% homogeneity is now the goal. A group of very similar folks who will never disagree, never teach each other, never rock the boat. Dissenting opinions are silenced, and the status quo reigns.

People with different lives and skills have a meddlesome habit of communicating, even
challenging one another’s beliefs. No good. Let no one confront their bias. Everyone agree, nobody think too much, and we can be outta here by noon.

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