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Charles M

I agree with the quote on abraham lincoln! LincolnAbraham.com

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YES.Abraham Lincoln said its "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Monsieur le Prefet keep talking.


Me again . . .

Just read the Babe Ruth post; definitely the point I was tring to make, and in a much less gruesome way.

I suppose there's a time for caution and a time for fearlessness. But how do you tell the difference between fear and caution? Is fear always a bad thing and caution always a good thing?

I mean, there must be a difference; "Realise the Caution and Do It Anyway" sounds like awful advice.


Tammy -

In your example, I would imagine extreme results require extreme effort. You do make a good point - it's not one or the other - it depends on the results you want. If you want to make sure it works, i.e. play it safe, test a patch. If you want to through caution into the wind - go all out. But there is a difference between jumping out of a plane and jumping out of a plane with a parachute. So we can't throw caution into the wind completely otherwise we won't live to try again (or share the experience with others).

You may also enjoy this piece as the counter point: http://sinekpartners.typepad.com/refocus/babe-ruth/


Hey Simon,

I agree with you on this cautious tip. To a point. But sometimes isn't it the full-on, all-in, caution to the wind approach that pushes ideas over the line to success?

To borrow your detergent metaphor: if I'm trying to clean some red wine off a shirt, sure, I'll test the bleach somewhere inconspicuous first, because it doesn't matter that much either way if it works; it's just some red wine on a shirt. However, (and please remember this is just a metaphor) if I find myself hovering over a corpse with an kitchen knife in my hand and blood all over the carpet, I'm not going to waste time with a patch test. I'm going to be throwing detergent, soap and whatever else all over the place. I may not get away with it, but my chances are increased by the extra effort and all-out approach. because I'm spurred on by the fact that the outcome really matters.

I like to think if any idea I had didn't work, it wasn't because I wasn't willing to throw caution to the wind.


The beauty of testing new ideas in small ways is that what I may have perceived as the reason or value that the idea "could" have can be perceived differently by someone else. That other point of view may reject the idea OR, more interestingly, see different value than what I saw. For me testing the new idea is about testing value, not just how the idea was implemented. In certain scenarios where others find different or further value, the organization has benefited tremendously.

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