There is a general set of fears when it comes to sharing ideas in meetings, especially the crazy ideas we know will get some curious looks from others:
- “What if I speak out of turn?”
- “What if they think it is stupid?”
- “Will people trust my judgment the next time I have an idea?”
- “Will people think I am just as crazy as my idea?”
And we will still explain why you should go ahead and share your crazy ideas anyway. Here are some reasons why if you feel cautious about doing it.
Crazy ideas are only “crazy” until they are proven “not crazy”
Every idea starts off as “crazy” until you or a team of people prove it can work. Think of some of the technology we use today or even think of something as simple as a “drive-thru window” at a fast food restaurant.
Every crazy idea deals with the same obstacles:
- People who say it will cost too much
- People who say it will not work
- People who point out all the problems with the idea but fail to see why it works
- People who will say it is not practical
- People who will say it is “logistically impossible”
These types of obstacles are not the results of people being “difficult”. It usually the result of people caring about what they do. They care about whether or not the company makes money or their previous experience showed them evidence as to why an idea maybe will not work.
However, every brilliant idea is brilliant today but was crazy last week. A universal truth about any idea is that “You cannot see past any choices you have never made”. Being too practical is just making a choice to never try. So, every crazy should be mentioned...even if it gets shot down. Merely stating the crazy idea plants a seed in people’s minds and something will come of it. And that leads to the next point…
Crazy ideas almost always lead to amazing ideas
Many times, in the act of asserting our intelligence, we end up asserting our biases and prejudices towards an idea. However, when we forget what we know for a little while and relax, somehow the most amazing ideas strike us.
Last year, Business Insider wrote about why our most amazing ideas come to us in the shower. The article states that when we insulate ourselves from distractions and relax, we allow ourselves to think of ideas without being affected by everything that is bothering us.
And if you have one of these “amazing ideas in the shower” you should share it even if it sounds crazy. More than likely, the idea you have in the shower could be the one that solves a problem that had been plaguing your company or team for months or years. Just do not mention it came to you in the shower.
You can always make crazy ideas sound logical
In an article posted by The Muse, they explain ways to get your boss and team to love your ideas. Some of the ways they mention include the following that almost sounds like selling crazy ideas requires a degree in Political Science and Performing Arts:
Know your idea backward and forwards
- Know your audience
- Do some analysis
- Make it look easy to execute
- Gain support
- Figure out your “So what? Now what?”
At the end of the idea, sharing a crazy idea in meetings is not always about “what you think of in the moment”. Sometimes it requires a little homework to sell it to others.
Finally...because Steve Jobs said so
Seriously, when all else fails it may be time to play the "Steve Jobs Card":
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”
Apple co-founder/Father of all crazy ideas that worked in the last 40 years
All ideas sound crazy to people who never tried. Learn from your failures and do what you know will be better the next time.