You have probably heard at least once in your life that there is no such thing as a bad idea. But when we face failure, or judgment, it is so easy to jump to the conclusion that our idea, in fact, is not that great.
The implementation was wrong.
A following was not obtained.
It just didn’t work out.
Any - and maybe all - of those things could have even the best of us headed back to the drawing board, eager to forget the flop and move onto something that could go smoother and, even better, work in our favor. But that idea that has just been abandoned? It could still have the potential to be something great, and just letting its untapped potential slip away could cost you your next adventure.
So, we must ask ourselves, what is so great about a bad idea?
I kept thinking this to myself as my Tuesday night professor walked around the classroom, urging each of us to think of the worst possible idea for a business or product and share it with our respective teams. We all had a good time, laughing and cringing all the while at the prospect of any of these ideas actually becoming something someone would get paid to do or supply. But then, she offered us another challenge. We were instructed to pick the best-worst idea to build on. One by one, members of the class started offering suggestions: ways to make it better, other implementations that could benefit the original idea without changing it, etc. And in the end? We had a completely realistic concept that didn’t sound so crazy at all. While it may be easy to feel embarrassed to share a bizarre or far-fetched idea, it is also necessary if that is something that you strongly believe in.
Collaboration with others is the difference between seeing a spark and igniting a flame. Someone else could think of something that you missed or have a thought lingering in their mind that just might apply to your “crazy” or “bad” idea. And sharing that creativity and innovation with someone else? That is the best part. The connections that you make in those moments when ideas are flowing and someone else believes in what you want to do are truly magical. When we work together, there is no limit to what we can do.
I’ve had a ton of bad ideas in my life thus far, and I‘m sure that you have too. And every single one of mine was abandoned the second someone else told me that it was bad, or crazy, or incomprehensible. I think back on these moments and wonder why. Why did I let the opinions of other get in my way? Why didn’t I ask more questions? Why didn’t I search out my resources? Any and all ideas in our minds have the potential to be something more than just a thought. We can make things happen. We can bring about change. Every worldwide trend or heart stopping movement started with an idea. So what’s yours?