On Criticizing Ideas

Today we place a high value on brainstorming. In many workplaces the process of coming up with ideas which can under no circumstances be criticized is almost regarded as a holy institution. This has never sat well with me.

It is not that I don’t think there is value in coming up with new ideas. There is. However, what there is not is a need for ideas which immediately have flaws. As much merit there is to coming up with new things, having to come up with something viable is even more important.

While some will argue that there is always time to refine later, I still think we allow too many highly flawed ideas to go unquestioned for no good reason.

By criticizing an idea you are allowed to quickly iterate on it, using shared knowledge to either reach a better spin on it, or reject it for good reasons. The added bonus to me is that you also learn a lot from this process and quickly evolve and learn.

It’s a hard balance. Just coming up with something, and coming up with something good and viable. We should drop our fear of just criticism and love of limitless praise to everyone’s benefit.