It’s the original ideas inside you that people want

“The danger with Margaret is that when she speaks without thinking she says what she thinks.”

Climbing the greasy pole – in business as in politics – is a middle of the road sort of occupation. Make mistakes, say the wrong thing, and you get knocked off the pole.

Alas, this means the best and most creative ideas are kept at bay.

Professional politicians fight for the middle ground. Meanwhile the politicians inside the corporation dare not move off  course for fear of being the one that makes a mistake. If a big decision has to be made then responsibility is carefully managed; An expensive consultancy firm may even be hired to put a “conditional“ buffer between a decision and responsibility. The condition is that if it it’s a great success the consultancy firm doesn’t need to take responsibility.

So smart thinking gets squeezed for space.  A bigger effort goes into hiding these ideas rather than developing them. It was said of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, by Lord St John of Fawsley:

“The danger with Margaret is that when she speaks without thinking she says what she thinks.”

It’s a great line. If you can breathe past any knee-jerk Thatcher-baggage and see what he’s saying you realise that he is articulating precisely the culture that produces beige, bland thinking. Yet it’s only when politicians or anyone says what they really think (instead of shaving off the edges and bashing the corners to fit the average) that things get interesting.

The trouble with being scared of big ideas is that your middle of road thoughts produce middle of the road results.

It’s the smart ideas inside that people want

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