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We’ve all seen it. Someone in your organization comes up with a new idea. They execute well. It gains some traction. And soon has wide-reaching impact (internally or externally).

What’s next?  Other people take notice. Many want to climb on board. They think they can make it better. How? By attaching some of their old ideas, integrating past ways of doing things, bringing it in line with “best practices,” invoking “the way we’ve always done it” approach.

Then what happens? Sometimes past thinking might sharpen the new idea but that depends on the “why” behind the offer. Often, it’s more about people wanting to attach themselves to something already successful than it is about increasing its impact. When that happens, the idea withers.

Alternatively, when insiders want to sharpen the difference that’s being made, when they approach the new idea with a collaborative spirit, when they see the idea and its impact as the highest cause, the magic continues.

How do you guard against having new ideas squished by old thinking disguised as assistance?

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