At the beginning of someone’s career, when they hear “I’ll get to that” they get excited. To that person’s mind, it has reached an action plan, and something is going to happen. Eventually, they realize that the idea fell apart, and it didn’t mean that at all.
They drop the naivety and in the worse cases, their creativity.
So when that person comes to you and hears “I’ll get to that,” they just listen to a “long no.” Anyone else in that room that understands that they also take a note.
Innovation dies. Status quo takes hold.
Instead of relying on the easy answer, take a breath and do one of two things:
- Make a promise to make a concrete action
- Say “no” with a reason coming in the moment with an invitation to talk in depth afterward
It’s hard to do this at the moment, however, if you want your team to innovate over inertia, it’s what is required.