Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Killing Ideas Can Hurt Your Future

June 16, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

So, you have called a meeting and there they all sit; Bias, opinionated, have favorites, scared of senior management, narrow-minded, open-minded, power seekers, egotists, young, old, seasoned veterans, inexperienced rookies, risk takers, and others who always play it safe. Then someone makes a suggestion and the games begin. The idea doesn’t stand on its own. Oh, no … quite the contrary. Unfortunately, most people “size up” the person who shared it. The definition of “sizing up” is, to examine something or someone carefully and decide what you think about it, him, or her.”

What does “sizing up” the person who shared the idea have to do with the strength of the idea? Absolutely nothing! Here are a few examples of “Sizing Up” the person:

A new person shared it and people think:
They haven’t earned the right to share anything.

A young person shared it and people think:
They have no experience. Why listen to them.

An old person shared it and people think:
They are so set in their ways always doing everything old school.

Senior management shared it and people think:
They want to control everything and do it their way.

A person you dislike shared it and you think:
I wouldn’t ever do anything they suggested.

May I suggest you don’t allow anyone to verbally express a major idea to the group. Assign everyone a number and have them submit ideas with their number attached to it. Only one person knows who is assigned to which number. Then read or show the suggestions anonymously to the group. Now the idea stands on its own; no bias is attached. At the end of the meeting, once you have decided on the best ideas, then you can share who submitted them. This technique has produced amazing results and also changed the way people think of others in their company. Imagine if a young person or new person had the best idea … oh, how their “value” to the company just rose in everyone’s eyes.

My second suggestion would be to hand out the list below and explain that these statements cannot be used to “KILL” an idea. They will have to come up with some other reason why the idea should not be considered. AND, don’t forget the most used excuse of all excuses … “But, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” You definitely can’t use that one.

Don’t be ridiculous
We’ve tried that before
It can’t be done
That’s beyond our responsibility
It’s too radical of a change
We don’t have the time
We’re too small for it
That’s not our problem
We’ve never done that before

Let’s get back to reality
Why change, it’s still working fine
We’re not ready for that
It isn’t in our budget
Let’s form a committee
We’re doing the best we can
We’ve done alright without it
Has anyone else ever tried it
It won’t work in our industry

If you want your company to grow and be successful you need to find ways to get everyone involved in sharing their thoughts without bias. There is NO rule that says: Great ideas can only come from Senior Management.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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