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The Five Stages Of Idea Acceptance

The book What A Great Idea! 2.0 by Chic Thompson is chock full o’ bits of wisdom that help with creativity and creating new ideas.

One bit Chic writes about, is how new ideas are often struck down with “killer phrases.” These phrases reflect the lack of acceptance of something new or different.

We’re all aware of these killer phrases, the killjoy of innovation. People, armed with phrases, jab with…

  • It’ll never work…
  • The only problem with that is…
  • In this economy?
  • Oh yeah, we tried that in ’98… didn’t work.
  • You’re kidding, right?
  • ______________________ ← your favorite here!

Chic points out that killer phrases “are as inevitable in the innovation process as ideas themselves.”

He adds, “psychologists have said that the human reaction to a new idea unfolds something like this, which we could call the Five Stages Of Idea Acceptance.” I’ve turned this list into a handy graphic suitable for framing.


The door-lock analogy is pretty accurate… You can have four of the five locks open, but the door is still closed until all five are unlatched.

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS?

By knowing the stages you can either:
(a) have already figured out how to…

  • make it relevant
  • prove it
  • make it safe, and
  • show it is saleable

…when you present it. Or at least:
(b) be aware each of these need to be unlocked as you champion the idea.

Happy locksmithing!

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