Cookie Dough Meetings: Throw out the good idea; keep the bad ones

cdI enjoy crawling through TED talks on my ride to work. Last week, during my regular listening, I came across this one. While much of what Tina Seelig says sounds like common knowledge, one thing stood out. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know that I love ideas. I’ve written about creating, nurturing and sharing them quite a bit, hence, it was only natural that when she started talking about our relationship with ideas, my brain became extra attentive.

People (including me) share an extremely judgmental relationship with ideas. It takes less that a fraction of a second for us to we categorize an idea into one we like or don’t like i.e. an idea that we think will work or will not. Sometimes, we form the opinion even before we give the idea a proper listen. The need to change our relationship with ideas exists for everyone and in every organization.

Before I heard this talk, I had thought about meetings where you weren’t allowed to reject or say anything negative about ideas but I’d never thought of dedicating time to turning ‘bad’ ideas around. Think about it. What if you couldn’t touch the good ideas? What if all you could do is take bad ideas and turn them into good ones? Wouldn’t that be a challenge worth undertaking?

Let’s call them the “cookie dough” meetings. Think of the bad ideas as dough gone wrong. What elements would you sprinkle in and what would you change in the baking process to ensure that you end up with exceptional cookies? Maybe also hand out real cookies in the meeting for some added fun. I’d trade my regular meeting any day to attend these.

What do you think? Can we make this a thing?

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