If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.

What did Charles Kettering mean by:

If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.


This quote is a tongue-in-cheek critique of the bureaucratic process, particularly in the context of innovation and decision-making. It suggests that when an idea is subjected to a committee, it often gets diluted, delayed, or discarded due to the various perspectives, opinions, and interests of the committee members. It implies that committees, by their nature, tend to be risk-averse, prone to groupthink, and slow to act, which can stifle creativity, originality, and decisiveness.

In essence, the quote is a call for more individual responsibility and initiative in the pursuit of new ideas. It underscores the importance of bold, decisive action and the willingness to take risks, which are often necessary for innovation and progress.

In today’s world, this concept can be applied in various ways. In the business world, for instance, companies might benefit from empowering individual employees or small teams to pursue innovative ideas, rather than relying solely on large, bureaucratic committees. This could foster a more entrepreneurial culture and accelerate the pace of innovation.

In the realm of personal development, this quote might inspire individuals to take more initiative in their own lives, rather than waiting for consensus or approval from others. It suggests that personal growth often requires bold, decisive action, and that individuals should not be afraid to pursue their ideas, even if others do not immediately understand or support them.

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