To subscribe to a
short MONTHLY MENTOR email reminder with links to changes in
Feature Article, Creativity Comments, Topics, and Visual Treats,
enter "Update" on the Subject line.
Email addresses will never be given out. You can cancel at
Creativity Comments by Winston J. Brill, Ph.D.
09/03 Creativity Comment
to Act, Got to Fight!
it be nice if every new idea in your company were seriously
considered and that people whose ideas are not pursued are
politely provided reasons for rejection?
But in many companies I hear complaints the equivalent of,
“If you want to pursue a new idea around here, expect to be
It’s not worth it.”
Which type of organization do you think will be most
think what the environment would be like if everyone’s new ideas
were followed up.
It would generate chaos—even if a tenth of those ideas
underwent study and written or oral reporting.
Since it is only a rare new idea that ends up generating
something useful to the organization, imagine the time and energy
should decide whether an idea ought to be pursued?
It’s not practical for a committee or a supervisor to do
a “study” on every new idea.
There’s no way to examine ideas to pick out only
those that will be valuable.
You are likely familiar with stories about some of your
company’s most important advances.
How many of them would have initially been rejected by a
committee or a boss?
How did those great ideas get to see the light of day?
Because someone fought for the idea.
That person had to overcome resistance from a supervisor,
colleagues, a committee or some regulation written “in stone.”
The successful idea was led by someone who was likely
afraid to enter the battle, but felt the idea was so important
that the scars might (can’t say “will” here since the
importance can only be proven at a later date) be worth the
satisfaction of making a valuable contribution.
push for your ideas.
Expect to be beaten up.
Use the battle to make yourself more creative.
Figure out how to lessen your bruises while advancing an
By entering the fray, you are overcoming an efficient
barrier preventing most ideas from serious consideration by the
Ideas not sufficiently thought through are left behind, not
wasting anyone’s time and effort.
But when you feel your idea is so important, and you’re
losing sleep over it as you continue to think of the idea’s
validity and potential, then it is time to act.
Perhaps the first action will be arguing—ideally, with
the help of others—why your idea ought to be pursued.
at some point you may realize that your idea really isn’t
as good as you initially thought.
Don’t continue to fight for an idea just because you are
concerned about losing face.
During the battle, even a losing battle, you will be
learning about yourself, about your organization and about your
Use that learning to pursue future ideas.
If you are afraid to fight for ideas you think are
important, you just won’t be creative or innovative.