A while ago I stumbled over this video that uses part of an advertisement to pose the question: What to do when good ideas are regarded as threat?
I mean, sure, convincing others is not easy, there is a part on Communicating Ideas and Convincing Others, but I still wonder about the answer to this question and I suppose, many of you do too. We probably all had (at least at times) superiors who rejected our ideas, not because the idea would not work, but because people in charge felt threatened by it: The father who suddenly realizes that the daughter might surpass him, the boss who cannot tolerate that a low-level employee solves a difficult problem within seconds after trying for hours to solve it, ideas that are not considered by persons in power just because the person who proposes it does not have the necessary status, e.g., not the required degree, the wrong gender or race, is on a level those who decide “do not communicate with”, etc.
In some cases this might be just well-developed self-protection from crackpot ideas. There was an article I heard about a while ago called “Uh-oh, here comes the mailman” (or something) where an well-known scientists bemoaned the crackpot ideas he got send by mail to promote them and to “discover the genius” of the sender, and there is always the danger of creating paper solutions (which are avoidable). But I think it is an over-generalization that all ideas by people “on the fringes” are crackpot. There might be the occasional jackpot idea in it — or just a simple way to make things easier for everyone.
So, what do you do when you think you have good ideas, but cannot place them? What do you do when people persist doing things in a cumbersome, laborious way when it could be so much easier?
On the one hand, I think those who do not want to be helped and advertise their own chronic problems should be left in their own misery and in some cases, these people can simply side-stepped. You can do your own thing no matter whether your father likes it (within limits depending on age). But on the other, seeing something done cumbersomely really hurts. And these are the small and easy problems. What about these issues where an idea might actually save money, other resources, or even human life? Do you blow the whistle or what do you do?