“When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, dismount!” — easier said than done. Can you recognize a good idea worth fighting for? Do you know when it’s time to let go and start over? Whom do you choose as sparring partners, and who remains on the team when ideas killers are excluded from the round?
Give your thoughts free rein — don’t give ideas killers a chance.
Ideas killer: Experience
“I know from experience.” — Such a statement quickly puts a halt to idea development and progress. Experience isn’t a qualification; it’s a roadblock to creative thinking. Development means change — or, as Kurt Marti put it: “Where would we be if everyone said, ‘Where would we be,’ and no one went to see where we would be if we went.”
Do you remember the last time you did something for the first time? Try to see the world with different eyes. Sharpen all your senses. Overcome the fear of the unknown and remain open to new things.
Ideas killer: Fear of Failure
A culture where mistakes are punished is an effective ideas killer and a guarantee of stagnation and regression. The fear of failure paralyzes. “Yes, but…” and “That can never work.” — doubters, pessimists, skeptics, complainers, and naysayers say things like this. Steer clear of such gossipmongers. They are bad for the mood and achieve nothing.
Mistakes should be rewarded. Trying something new should be more important than doing the same thing over and over again. The essential question is, “What can I learn from this?” The more you learn from mistakes, the faster you improve. Encourage initiative and demand a constructive approach to failure. Celebrate what didn’t work and talk about it openly — everyone can learn from it. And suddenly, a mistake turns into a win.
Ideas killer: Group Dynamics
In a group, there are winners and losers, rulers and the ruled, winners and losers. Relationships matter here. Hierarchy, friendship, or enmity have an influence. Some group members prefer to withdraw into the safety of passivity amid this dynamic. A group is not a team. In a team, you win and lose together.
Don’t encourage the path of least resistance. Foster an open and constructive conflict culture. Ensure transparency and encounters on equal footing. Don’t give know-it-alls, troublemakers, or those who want to be one a chance.
Ideas killer: Harmony
As soon as you begin to continue another person’s thoughts in the same spirit and style, extreme caution is required. Pulling together can be fun and foster a sense of unity, but it also carries the risk of cuddling ideas to death. When all thoughts are headed in the same direction, a boring ending is inevitable. Coddling instead of an idea-finding process with rough edges? That’s not worth the time spent.
Create surprises and provoke intentionally. Think about opposites and try to recognize the common motives they pursue. This way, every contrast becomes a wonderful idea generator.
Ideas killer: Egoism
A diva is aloof. With arrogance and vanity, she claims to be the center of the world. Suggestions and ideas from others are continuously corrected, deliberately turned away, and destroyed. She doesn’t accept dissent: “The idea isn’t that new, after all.” She revels in the spotlight. Applause isn’t shared. Around her, there are poseurs, hypocrites, sycophants, and applause-clappers.
True greatness holds back — it’s free from insecurity and the fear that someone else might take their place. Instead of “I,” it’s “we.” If you’re confident in your abilities, share your knowledge, proactively seek to exchange ideas with others, treat “different thinkers” with respect and tolerance, and encourage self-initiative and self-responsibility.
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Creative Planner, Communication Psychologist in Training, Systemic Business Coach, Facilitator, Mentor, Sparring Partner, VR Expert (XR-C)