Know a good idea when you hear it?

It is that gut response that immediately tells you “Yes!!! That is awesome” (or ‘cool’ or ‘fantastic’ or ‘superb’, depending on your age and image). It is this excitement and energy that really captures your attention.

I want to put a challenge out to all leaders in business.


‘Make sense’ ideas often lack that special spark.

I challenge you to create meetings, presentations and discussions that generate this level of excitement and energy. That is, to tap into the natural energy that sits within all of us. The norm for meetings currently seems to be that managers and teams push for the ‘makes sense’ ideas rather than the ideas with a spark of energy. This is just another time that the left (logical) brain triumphs over the right (creative, intuitive) brain. Don’t you feel sorry for the right brain? I do. Do you see your business not coming up with ground breaking ideas as much as you would like? I see that too.

What is the cost of ‘makes sense’ ideas?

Well, if an idea doesn’t get you and your team excited, how are consumers or users or clients going to respond to it? We all know the answer to that. If you are not excited by it nor will they be. So stop doing it!

Here is what you can do at your next meeting:
  1. Put aside 10 minutes in the agenda to let go of logic and generate exciting ideas. When it comes to creativity, the role of logic is to sort and strategize, not to generate ideas.
  2. Tell people that you are looking for ideas that may not make sense but that get a reaction, such as a laugh or inadvertent “mmmm …” or anger or frustration etc. Rather than disregard these ideas, which is normally what happens, list them out.
  3. After 10 minutes go through the list and look for the underlying concepts and then, using the left-brain, shape and mould them. Note: Don’t take the ‘energy’ out of them! You want that energy to remain. Better yet, you want to build on it.

Now it is up to you to try it, no actually – just do it! Commit yourself to being successful.

As Yoda the Jedi Warrior said in the movie Star Wars: “Try? There is not try. There is only do or not do”.

Let me know how and what you do.


Allison K, 2005, Secrets from the innovation room, McGraw-Hill Companies.