Give permission to have stupid ideas

November 6th, 2012

Sometimes unconventional problems call for unconventional solutions!

Today’s post if from Michael Figueroa a SafeSourcing Account Manager!

Sometimes unconventional problems call for unconventional solutions. However, many of us are held back by believing in restrictions to the realm of possibility that aren’t really there. The longer we stay within a certain pattern of thinking, the more we constrain ourselves to staying within that paradigm, and the more comfortable we allow ourselves to get with that mindset, the more effort it will take to get ourselves out of our comfort zone. Ideally, this change needs to start with getting permission to have stupid ideas.

During brain storming sessions, too often you have people trying to impress the boss or each other with their brilliant ideas and nobody willing to throw in the high-risk concepts that might make them look like the odd-ball. However, like most investments there’s a relationship to high-risk and high-reward, and the ranking manager in the room can make a huge difference in making this possible.

For example, if the leader comes up with a crazy, off the cuff idea that everyone knows is nuts, the idea itself is not the payoff. It’s leading by example, subtly giving permission to innovate, making it safe to take risks. What happens is you’ll find everyone else in the room feel more at ease to think outside the box, to associate novel concepts with traditional problems, to relate seemingly unrelated ideas into cohesive strategies nobody has ever dared consider before. You’ve expanded the realm of consideration. What’s important in brain-storming is not the initial idea, but the process taken to turn several far-out concepts into a couple game-changing innovations.

If you’ve ever worked in an organization with an open-minded, risk-safe kind of culture, you’ll also find the staff is much quicker to adapt to change, and to accept unconventional projects. When a need arises that falls outside of established process, people aren’t fearful of taking it on because they aren’t afraid of breaking unspoken, yet overly conservative rules.

Often times we at SafeSourcing have clients that believe there are only 2 or 3 suppliers out there that can meet their needs, and it takes someone with the courage to explore other opportunities to actually go out and find them. We almost always find more and better suppliers than what our clients thought were out there. Expanding the realm of consideration is our job, and we’re pretty good at it.  Give us a call.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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