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Recently i have been spending a lot of time looking at meetings. Why do we have them? how are they structured? and are the outputs as valuable as the time we spend in them?

Whilst looking at this work I remembered reading an article on Forbes about the value of crazy ideas in your business.

The conclusion of the article is that you never know what a crazy idea would result in. They provide an example of a restaurant taking their best selling burger off the menu. The result was they sold more burgers than ever before with higher profits and less cost.

If you are interested you can find the article Here

Are They Really Crazy

I would argue that there are no crazy ideas. In the original scenario, the individual who suggested removing the burger from the menu clearly had a reason why they thought it was a good idea.

That rationale turned out to be correct.

The only way that idea could be considered crazy was within the environment that company had created. An environment that wasn’t open to sharing and caused people to dismiss or hide “wild” ideas.  

Why Freedom Helps Traditionally

Traditionally when the leaders at the top of a company show they are open to challenging the status quo the attitude will permeate through an organisation.

This is because people lower down a corporate structure see senior members of staff pushing the boundaries and not being shot down or ridiculed for doing so. In turn they feel they can do the same without fear of reprisal.

This ability to generate more boundary pushing ideas can be the source of real change and progress within an organisation.

The weakness?

It can be undone by a single individual. If a single individual with enough authority starts to belittle or react negatively to such concepts, everything can crumble in a short period of time.

Creating Last Change

To create lasting change where “crazy ideas” are shared you must create an environment where people can freely share ideas without the fear of ridicule or being made to feel embarrassed. You must also create an environment where these rules cannot be changed by any single individual. Especially those with seniority within an organisation.

This is achievable in any organisation with a few simple techniques.

1 – Make contributions anonymous – By making contributions anonymous people are more likely to share crazy ideas as they know they will not be ridiculed.

2 – Group Ranking – Have the group rate and decide on the best ideas

3 – Remove human bias – This problem is tackled by making contribution anonymous and having the group rate ideas without knowing who’s idea they are rating.


Final Thoughts

What we can learn from this is:

1 – Your crazy ideas are your best ideas because they are most likely to create meaningful change.

2 – There is no such thing as crazy ideas, just ideas that challenge the “norms”

3 – Getting the best ideas out into the open is possible in any team

4 – Using a tool like Enswarm will provide you with the structure to make that change a reality.