"Yes, of course, certainly!" -- fostering creativity

After a quick link post at Snook, I ended up reading an interesting article about large corporations, creativity, and how to avoid stifling innovation, thus keeping creative people from defecting to start up on their own, perhaps as a competitor (exemplifying with such a scenario at Disney, and comparing with how Google may have a better take on this).

What I found most striking, however, was this passage:

My buddy Tim tells the story of how, as a 16 year old entrepreneur, he and his partner Bant devised a system call "Yes, Of Course, Certainly" for generating new ideas. Let's say Bant comes up with what he thinks is the greatest idea for a new dog food commercial, and starts telling Tim about it. It is Tim's responsibility to let Bant get the idea out, and say nothing but "yes", even if he thinks it's the worst idea he's ever heard. Once the idea is out there, Tim must add something to the idea to make it better ("of course"). And once it's better, Tim and Bant have to figure out how to actually get it done ("certainly"). If it passes the third stage, Tim and Bant are probably looking at an idea that will probably make Purina quite happy. If it doesn't, the worst thing that happened is that Bant received positive reinforcement for sharing his idea, and the two of them spent some time creatively attacking a problem.

Absolutely brilliant. Who cares about the age of a mind that comes up with great, simple ideas like this? Either way, I think I'm going to have to dig up a few people to toss hack ideas back and forth to, under something like these conditions, with a longer plan for eventually working at a company with this built-in with the plumbing. This is how a knowledge worker's professional relationships should look like. I've seen so very much more of the adverse, when devil's advocate minded people shoot down ideas, figuring out ways in which ideas could fail rather than ways they could be made to work.

Which leads me on to how I'm now quite happy with how my previos and next links work in this blog. It will be hell making an article on how it's accomplished, though, for my next part in my ongoing series about how to make calendar navigation for a Blogger blog. Or maybe I'll just have to repackage my parts and focus on how to get things working, rather than describing the mechanics of how it actually works. I'm sure most readers don't really want to know.
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