Healthy teams allow every idea a chance to live. At initial thought, there are no bad ideas.

The healthiest teams don’t contain a built in idea killer. And if there is one they aren’t allowed to remain so for long.

Ideas need a chance to breathe. They need to be stretched and prodded and examined. The best ideas sometimes come from what started as a seemingly really bad idea. Genius ideas are often killed before they have a chance to develop into their greatness.

That’s why healthy teams have freedom and regularly:

  • Brainstorm
  • Analyze
  • Test drive
  • Push back
  • Critique
  • Debate
  • Challenge
  • Collaborate
  • Dialogue
  • Listen
  • Discuss

Every. Single. Idea. 

Healthy teams remain open-minded about an idea until it’s proven to be a bad idea.

It doesn’t have to be a long process. It could be a short process.

But, healthy teams give every idea a chance to live.

That is because healthy teams know there is value in the collection of ideas on a team.

Leader, next time your team gets together open the floor of discussion to ideas. Let everyone put ALL their ideas on the table, with no fear of embarrassment or retribution. Watch for collective brilliance to develop .

Have you ever worked with an idea killer? How did it impact the team?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • ronedmondson says:


  • Kids are great at reminding you of what you said, but did different. We always teach our children to share, to let others have a say and a turn. Orgaizations need a TIME OUT! Regroup and fix-it! No excuses!

  • Yes, I do have worked with idea killers. But, creativity and innovation should be encouraged to reap the maximum benefits. Insecure leaders may do this idea killing.

  • Ben says:

    I used to tell my staff go nuts with ideas. NO idea is too small or impossible. Imagine-create.
    Someone gave this to me yrs ago-too good not to share…we all know who comes to steal, kill and destroy-and if he can get his way (in this case kill) from the beginning, he wins.

    100 Ways to Kill a Concept:
    1.the boss won’t go for that.
    2.the lawyers won’t go for that.
    3.the accountants won’t go for that.
    4.the client won’t go for that.
    5.the salespeople won’t go for that.
    6.the investors won’t go for that.
    7.So and so won’t like it.
    8.It’s not us.
    9.It won’t fit into our system.
    10.We’re not ready for that yet.
    11.I don’t think it will work.
    12.I don’t understand.
    13.Do you understand?
    14.Will anyone understand?
    15.What will they think of next?
    16.It’s politically incorrect.
    17.It’s too complicated.
    18.It’s too late for that now.
    19.It’s too expensive.
    20.We’ll lose money.
    23.Who says?
    24.nobody will want that.
    25.Where are you coming from?
    26.It can’t be done.
    27.Have the committee review it.
    28.Let’s do more research.
    29.Let’s take a vote on it.
    30.Let’s play devil’s advocate.
    31.I’ve never heard of such a thing.
    32.We’ve already tried that.
    33.that’s been done before.
    34.It’s not how we do things here.
    35.We’ve never done anything like that.
    36.We’ll get back to you.
    37.that’s a subject for another meeting.
    38.It creates more problems than it solves.
    39.Sounds like too many problems.
    40.that only solves some of the problems.
    41.that’s going to cause problems.
    42.Here we go again.
    43.that’s unique, but . . .
    44.Very interesting, but . . .
    45.I understand, but . . .
    46.I love it, but . . .
    47.Great idea, but . . .
    48.Yes, but . . .
    49.Sounds simple, but . . .
    50.But . . .
    51.It’s just not for us.
    52.try again.
    53.that sucks.
    54.needs more pizzazz!
    55.I don’t like it.
    56.Have you thought it through?
    57.It won’t sell.
    58.Maybe next time.
    59.Another day.
    60.What are people going to say?
    61.People will think we’re nuts!
    62.that’s BS.
    63.Be realistic.
    64.How about this instead?
    65.Get a grip!
    66.Are you serious?
    67.that turns me off!
    68.the client is too liberal for that.
    69.the client is too conservative for that.
    70.What else do you have?
    72.So what?
    73.Oh . . .
    75.Oh, really!
    76.Get real, it’s not feasible.
    77.Sounds crazy!
    78.nobody does that.
    79.Are you kidding me?
    80.that’s too off the wall.
    81.You can’t argue with success.
    82.You can’t fight City Hall.
    83.We don’t have time to do it.
    84.Let’s not reach beyond our grasp.
    85.We’re overextended already.
    86.Let’s wait ‘til we see the numbers.
    87.You’re proposing what?
    88.Let’s not rock the boat.
    92.Where did that come from?
    93.I’ve got a better idea.
    94.Hey, there’s a recession going on.
    95.We’ve never done anything like that.
    96.the press will kill us.
    97.that’s not your decision to make.
    98.We’ll step on too many toes.
    99.Just leave it to me; I’ll take care of it.
    100.You could lose your job for that . . .

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