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All Good Ideas Must Die (So Great Ideas May Live)

The first half of this card always takes people off-guard. “What’s wrong with good ideas?”

Yes, good ideas must die. “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”” writes James Collins in his bestseller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't.

We settle for the status quo. We settle for the first idea that comes up in a brainstorm. We settle for a workplace that respects hierarchy over one that values a culture of innovation.

ü  The status quo must die: The “way we’ve always done it” is the first idea that must die. It was revolutionary and competitive when your corporation was founded. But it has become irrelevant, backward, bloated or been adopted by the competition. Companies that recognize this fact move beyond continual improvement and embrace transformation.

ü  Brainstorming must die: We settle too easily for ideas brainstormed by our team or our leaders, simply because they are the first ideas we hear. “There is a problem with brainstorming. It doesn’t work,” argues neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer contends that brainstorming actually makes individuals LESS creative. “Brainstorming exercises can lead to fixation on one idea or possibility, leading eventually to a conformity of ideas.”

ü  Respect must die: I was once privileged enough to lead an innovation training program for a company in which the Vice President suggested that “we are not just a company that discourages speaking out – we are a company that actively PUNISHES speaking out.” This VP went on to offer a radical new vision of their corporate culture, one in which challenging all good ideas was the new norm no matter who proposed them

If you chose this card it suggests that you value innovation. These good ideas must die, so that new, great ideas can flourish.

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Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron is one of Canada's most successful playwrights and one of Calgary's most imaginative corporate trainers and faciliators. Ken uses his creative background to design sessions that draw aout even the most introverted participants.

As a coach and corporate trainer Ken has worked with and lead workshops for many senior business leaders and dynamic organizations.