My buddy Tim tells the story of how, as a 16 year old entrepreneur, he and his partner Bant devised a system call "Yes, Of Course, Certainly" for generating new ideas. Let's say Bant comes up with what he thinks is the greatest idea for a new dog food commercial, and starts telling Tim about it. It is Tim's responsibility to let Bant get the idea out, and say nothing but "yes", even if he thinks it's the worst idea he's ever heard. Once the idea is out there, Tim must add something to the idea to make it better ("of course"). And once it's better, Tim and Bant have to figure out how to actually get it done ("certainly"). If it passes the third stage, Tim and Bant are probably looking at an idea that will probably make Purina quite happy. If it doesn't, the worst thing that happened is that Bant received positive reinforcement for sharing his idea, and the two of them spent some time creatively attacking a problem. If two 16 year olds could devise this system and have the discipline to stick to it, why not a company full of adults?
Monday, November 14, 2005
Writing about innovation, Kareem relates this anecdote about positive thinking: