let a thousand flowers bloom
- Don't interfere with promising developments in their early stages.
2002, Robert J. Sternberg, Todd I. Lubart, Defying the Crowd, page 1:
- It is probably safe to say that each year thousands of workers are victims of what might be called the “let a thousand flowers bloom” maneuver, formulated by Mao Tse-tung when he controlled the world's most populous country.
2008, Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, page 195:
- There's no haggling over specs or schedules. It's simply: let a thousand flowers bloom (or 140,000 flowers and growing, to be more exact)
2010, Damien McLoughlin, David A. Aaker, Strategic Market Management: Global Perspectives, page 268:
- One theory advanced by James Brian Quin, a strategy theorist, and others on how to find and develop successful new businesses is to 'let a thousand flowers bloom', tend those that thrive, and let the rest wither.
2011, Michael Fullan, The Six Secrets of Change, page 12:
- But if you devolve power and resources to local entities—the “let a thousand flowers bloom” approach— you get uneven results.
- As some usage shows, those knowing what happened to those who took Mao's encouragement of 1956 seriously view uses of this statement skeptically and may use it ironically.