An interesting blog by Scott Anthony from HBR. Here is an excerpt while you can read the full article here.

“I had an epiphany recently. The setting: a multi-billion dollar global giant. The topic of discussion: innovation. My epiphany: A simple two-word phrase that can hamstring innovation.

What about…

I was helping a cross-functional group review a few ideas to create new growth businesses. Like many early-stage propositions, the ideas blended intriguing potential with high degrees of uncertainty.

About 15 minutes into the review, the questions began to come in.

What about the competitive landscape? Can we model the impact of someone entering the space early?

What about the market size? Are we sure these numbers are right?” another wondered.

What about the regulatory regime. Are these timelines really realistic?

They were important questions, and robust answers would help bring each opportunity into sharper focus. And the group’s intentions were good — figure out which opportunity was the most attractive so that the company could direct its resources appropriately.

The problem, though, is what follows “What about…” questions. The next step from almost any discussion like this one is to conduct further research. And, “What about…” questions never stop. Each answer generates questions whose answers lead to further questions. It could become infinite…”

How to Kill Innovation: Keep Asking Questions
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