When people initially bring up new ideas do I first tend to:
- Think about the risks and challenges
- Imagine the “What if’s and Possibilities” of it working
We cannot be in two places at the same time. Where we start determines how innovative we are. If we start with a risk based approach to new ideas then we will destroy the idea before it ever gets explored. Why? Because new ideas are scary to begin with. New ideas have risk associated with them. Without buy-in and exploring the value of an idea discussing the risks and potholes of an idea will cause it to die on the vine before it ever ripens.
But if you start with imagining success…If you can see it working and see the value of a new idea then you have a sufficient base for exploring risks. Why? Because now people want to see the idea work. They will overcome ordinary barriers to execute the idea. They will deal with bumps in the road that will inevitably occur in rolling out a new concept. The only risks that will kill an idea with buy-in and value are the risks that should kill it.
So why do we too often start by shooting down ideas? Fear.
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of change
- Fear of a loss of power
- Fear of failure
- Fear of someone else’s success
And there are a lot more fears. So if you want to be innovative look in the mirror. What are you afraid of? Next time you start a brainstorming process by picking a part someone else’s idea take a deep breath and ask yourself…What would happen if it worked?