How would you describe someone doing something that is for the common good (well-intended), but is very inefficient, and possibly even harmful to what they're trying to achieve?


  1. The new mayor is finally serious about climate change, but he wants charge all petrol cars $2000 a month, starting today!

  2. To incentivise more women to join our company, the CEO is offering double the men's salary for women who apply for the same role.

  3. The IT department so paranoid about company security that every website must first be signed off by the IT manager before entering.

Pretty much situations that make you think "I agree with what you're trying to do, but that's not how you do it! You'll only end up upsetting people, and make them NOT want to support your ideals."

I've looked at: Counterproductive, hindering, Barking up the wrong tree (too focused on being wrong), misguided, off the mark, carry water in a sieve, bikeshedding, etc., but nothing fits.

Thanks in advance!

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Scott, MikeRoger, tchrist single-word-requests Oct 25 '17 at 13:23

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Ah! I found "The cure is worse than the disease" in the duplicate question. Thanks for that. – user3667107 Nov 1 '17 at 3:18

I think that well-intentioned suits the examples you have given.

If you say that a person or their actions are well-intentioned, you mean that they intend to be helpful or kind but they are unsuccessful or cause problems. He is well-intentioned but a poor administrator.

Collins online

  • Ahhh, so well-intentioned/well-intended actually carries the "but they are unsuccessful or cause problems" meaning with it? Hmmm, but that doesn't have enough of a "wrong solution for the problem" feel to it, wouldn't you say? – user3667107 Oct 23 '17 at 22:58
  • @user3667107 I'll wait and see how the votes go. – Nigel J Oct 23 '17 at 23:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.