How to Say Yes to New Ideas Without Going Nuts

The trouble with new ideas are the ones that didn’t work. But, organizations that consistently kill new ideas drive nails in their own coffins.

The bondage of old ideas is they worked, once.

The issue isn’t generating ideas. The issue is figuring out which ideas deserve a chance.

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Killing new ideas is like avoiding an imaginary car wreck. The results are feelings of power, safety, stability, even relief.  But, the habit of killing new ideas is slow suicide.

Turbulent times and evolving conditions require new ways of thinking.

Why say, “No,” when you could say, “Yes?”

12 ways to say yes to new ideas without going nuts:

  1. Don’t expect people who resist change to lead change. Resistance stabilizes organizations.
  2. Let people who love new ideas try them. Ask, “Who can try this?”
  3. Say, “Yes,” in small ways.
  4. Minimize disruption with pilot programs and trial runs. Ask, “How can we try this?”
  5. Evaluate risk. Ask, “What happens if we try this?”
  6. Limit resources and finances. Creativity finds a way when limitations exist.
  7. Validate before big commitments or disruptions.
  8. Align with vision. “How does this take us where we want to go?”
  9. Align with values. “How does this express who we want to become?”
  10. Ask, “What happens if we don’t try this?”
  11. Define the win. “What will be better if it works?”
  12. Check your gut. “On a scale of one to ten, is it worth a try?” What gut-check number is acceptable for you?


It’s easy to waste time debating new ideas when it’s often simpler to take the next step and see what happens. Talk creates confusion insight comes with action.

Reject “all or nothing thinking.” It’s easy to feel confused and afraid when it feels like everything’s on the line.

Give life to new ideas without killing everything else.

How can leaders get the most from new ideas?

What system for evaluating and testing new ideas would you suggest?