So much value in business and personal lives go astray with these three words: always, never, ever.
These three words put us in a corner like no other. We commit to them.
If we say them publicly it is a bit annoying to eat one’s words. If we say them publicly with anger it hurts a bit more. When we say them in our working or personal lives to a person – “you never…” “you always…” – we’re judging the whole person not the issue.
However, when these words are uttered by leaders in businesses and the words are associated with what the company may or may not do in the future, then the associated possibility becomes the unspoken hurdle that everyone dances around.
For example “We will not (never – ever) make a mobile device with touch screens”. So, time and then competitors go past and the company doesn’t go beyond the “past its due date mantra”. The mantra had its moment of truth when the technology wasn’t mature enough but it stuck.
At times these three dangerous words are used as the black and white paint about a decision. If we do it this way we have made way for this outcome, but then we think that doing it ‘this way’ is mandated, for ever. Never to budge because we want to achieve this outcome.
Design thrives on limitations. A blank canvas with no limitations is meaningless. Just choose the limitations carefully. When we object to the outcome of the design effort we might just be objecting to the limitations chosen. There is another way to solve the problem when the limitations are revisited.
I will never ever ever say never or ever and I will always keep in mind that there is always another way.