Idea degeneration: when to confiscate the coloured pens

Ideas can be dangerous. Before you know it one person's creative juice has spawned a free-for-all brainstorm equipped by flip charts, whiteboards and mindmaps and given birth to a third generation of follow-up actions and meetings.

Being an 'ideas person' goes with the entrepreneurial territory and every fledgling business needs its staff to be ingeniously creative with little or no resource, right?
Almost right. Operate anything but a 'no idea too stupid' culture nowadays and you're seen as seriously limiting the potential of your people and almost certainly missing out on untapped opportunities.
Except, when no idea is deemed too stupid to air, you're seriously at risk of wasting hours of exploring, well, stupid ideas.
Ideas can be dangerous. Before you know it one person's creative juice has spawned a free-for-all brainstorm equipped by flip charts, whiteboards and mindmaps and a second generation of follow-up actions and meetings.
All this, all too often, before anyone has worked out if the idea is any good or not. It's not just stupid ideas which are the problem, though. It's average ideas, as well. Or even good ideas that are wrong for your business.  Ideas that even with the best will in the world you shouldn't be pursuing.
Creatives - and you might be one of them - are crucial for any business hustling to establish itself, but sometimes you need to confiscate the coloured pens.
Sometimes you need to spend less time searching for new ways to solve a problem and just get the easy job done, then move on and get the next one done as well. Low lying fruit and all that.
It's not easy, exciting or popular being the one who continually says 'No', 'Stop', 'Let's focus on what we need to do', but if your job is to establish and grow a business on solid foundations that's almost always what is needed. Start-ups are chaotic, disorganised and prone to lapses in focus at the best of times so someone's got to keep it on track.
The answer of course is not to discourage ideas, but create some structure to how and when they're explored and to ensure everyone - including you - has clear objectives and targets to channel that creativity where it contributes not disrupts.

All this, all too often, before anyone has worked out if the idea is any good or not. It's not just stupid ideas which are the problem, though. It's average ideas, as well. Or even good ideas that are wrong for your business. Ideas that even with the best will in the world you shouldn't be pursuing.

Creatives - and you might be one of them - are crucial for any business hustling to establish itself, but sometimes you simply need to confiscate the coloured pens.

Sometimes you need to spend less time searching for new ways to solve a problem and just get the easy job done, then move on and get the next one done as well. Low lying fruit and all that.

It's not easy, exciting or popular being the one who continually says 'No', 'Stop', 'Let's focus on what we need to do', but if your job is to establish and grow a business on solid foundations that's almost always what is needed. Start-ups are chaotic, disorganised and prone to lapses in focus at the best of times so someone's got to keep it all on track.

The answer of course is not to discourage ideas, but create some structure to how and when they're explored and to ensure everyone - including you - has clear objectives and targets to channel creativity where it contributes not disrupts.

 

 

 

 

 

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