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50 Reasons Why It Won’t Work

I ran into this that we use internally in Capgemini to help people open up for new ideas. Out of curiosity: Which one of these did you hear yesterday? Post a comment, and I’ll make an updated version of the ones you hear the most.

  1. We tried that before
  2. Our systems are different
  3. It costs too much
  4. That’s beyond our responsibility
  5. That’s not my job
  6. We’re all too busy to do that
  7. It’s too radical a change
  8. There’s not enough help
  9. We’ve never done it before
  10. We don’t have the authority
  11. there’s not enough time
  12. Let’s get back to reality
  13. That’s not our problem
  14. Why change it? It’s still working OK
  15. I don’t like that idea
  16. Your’e right but…
  17. You’re two years ahead of your time
  18. It isn’t in the budget
  19. We’re not ready for that
  20. Sounds OK but impractical
  21. Let’s give it some more thought
  22. That’s my bowling day
  23. That doesn’t effect me or my child
  24. Nobody cares about that
  25. We’ve always done it this way
  26. It might not work
  27. Not that again!
  28. Where’d you dig that one up?
  29. We didl all right without it
  30. It’s never been tried before
  31. Let’s shelve it for the time being
  32. I don’t see the connection
  33. What you are really saying is…
  34. Let’s not be the first
  35. Maybe that would work in your department but not in mine
  36. The administration will never go for it
  37. It can’t be done
  38. It’s too much trouble
  39. It’s impossible
  40. You’re not here to think
  41. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks
  42. Let me think about that and I’ll get back to you
  43. Let’s wait until the next version
  44. Legislation says (…) we can’t do that
  45. We can’t fight city hall
  46. That’s old/new business and can’t be discussed now
  47. That’s too serious a subject
  48. No one is interested
  49. It’s too ealy to think about it
  50. It’s too late to start

Note how number 14 closely resembles “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it”

Closely related: 50 reasons why we cannot change at FastCompany.

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5 Responses to “50 Reasons Why It Won’t Work”

  1. Thomas Baekdal Says:

    Great list!

    Number 6 is unfortunately the one I hear most often.

    One addition:
    - We don’t have the skills to do that

  2. frank goossens Says:

    reminds me of the bug fix bingo game (http://www.kjross.com.au/games/), bet there are common excuses in that game and this list.

  3. Matthew Oliphant Says:

    I hear #1 and #16 the most. Makes me sad. Especially #1. I ask, “When was this last tired?” Answer: 3 years ago. Ya think the web, oh I don’t know, may have changed in the last 3 years? Maybe just a little?

    On the plus side, it’s good to hear these things. If everyone said yes to everything, then where would we be?

    We need Threshold Guardians to challenge our drive for change. Because even though I am right all the time, it’s possible I’ll be wrong at some point. :)

  4. mpb Says:

    There’s a similar graphic version developed in New Mexico ca 1991 (see http://13c4.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/50-reasons-not-to-change/) I’ve added a few Alaska reasons I have heard.

    Amazing how little the excuses change over time.

  5. Mark Says:

    Another one to add is: The way we are doing it works fine!

    Being in a large workplace, we recently went from paper recording to computer recording of info. Many, many of these excuses were utilized on a regular basis. Thankfully, the management did it anyways. Now we can’t remember what paper charting was like! Great! IT is hard to push people into change, we would rather be comfortable.