“Never show fools unfinished work!” Some people just can’t prototype; they can’t play with ideas.
When an organization uses rapid prototyping as a tool in its designing, creating, and innovating activities, one of the worst killers of the spirit of free and open thought is a detailer/authoritarian type person who cannot “play around with” ideas. For this person, things are either right or wrong. These anal types are bound strictly by rules and regulations, most of them held as moral imperatives. We say, “Hey, loosen up! Brainstorm and play around with us as we try to think this through.” But, the person responds, “You cannot have a 1 in an outline without a 2. Period!” We say, “Stop thinking about that right now? Come on, think with us about the whole design and concept of the new piece of equipment.” The person responds, “No. You can’t have a 1 without a 2. That’s the rule!”
For example, we were writing a proposal for a large aerospace company, and the team was prototyping what logistics must be considered. An editor from the home office had been sent to help on the team. The editor stopped the brainstorming and prototyping and demanded that everyone observe the difference in spelling between ‘principle’ and ‘principal’. We were all flabbergasted at the narrowness and the false morality of the issue. She killed the prototyping spirit, and it wasn’t until we demanded that she return to the home office and leave us alone that the fun and free and highly creative intellectual spirit returned.
If people cannot prototype, don’t ever let them be on a creative or innovative team where serious (and playful) intellectual work needs to get done.