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When I examine our culture at Marketing Eye, one idea usually sticks out at people; that is, our stance on bad ideas. Taking a unique approach (remembering nothing we do here is status quo), I encourage my team to share their ideas daily; the great, the good and the terrible.
Why? Because I firmly believe there is value in bad ideas.
If you look in to the journey behind the biggest accomplishments in the world, they’re full of bad ideas. In fact, it’s the mishaps, the arduous trial and error procedure that leads to greatness. A bad idea simply paves the way for a new and improved one. Bad ideas are often discouraged and quickly discounted as failures, but in reality, they identify solutions.
I need my team; from the marketing managers to the interns, to feel that they have an open forum to exchange their ideas freely; we are, after all, a creative company. And during a consultancy, our marketing managers will implore our clients to lay all of their ideas on the table. And often we harvest gold from the very idea our clients are hesitant to tell us.
What I know - when you shut down the idea on bad ideas, you close it on future good ones too.
Case and point: Richard Branson. Branson’s career is forged on working on bad ideas hard enough to see them transform. The high-flying, risk-taking media magnet is passionate about “building a corporate comfort zone” where employees are encouraged to express themselves without rigid restrictions; he believes this environment cultivates good, impactful decisions. Branson, who has launched over 100 companies under his Virgin label, knows a thing or two about bad ideas; his first endeavor, the magazine Student was one of them.
Ask any small business owner, and they’ll agree; when they share their dream, the response was usually “That’s a bad idea”. Most small businesses seem like terrible propositions at the beginning, however, I’ve personally witnessed hundreds of small businesses transform from a group of bad and good ideas, into large, profitable companies.
Firmly establishing a culture where no proposal is too big, unrealistic, or even bad is the gateway to accessing the best out of your team. If they feel like they’ll be crucified for making a wrong turn, they’ll avoid risk altogether, and risks are what made Marketing Eye come to fruition.
I encourage you to check our blog regularly, and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.
*image source: Juri Zach