Why "That's Silly" Is the Dumbest Thing You Can Say

Do you "Think Different"? Original thinking isn't just a mantra for innovators; it's a necessity for anyone who wants to survive and thrive in today's competitive and ever-moving business climate. Innovation comes when you let your mind rove freely, and dismiss your interior critics, those little nagging voices that say "that's silly" or "that'll never work". 

Give yourself the gift of letting them go; schedule time in your week to be silly, to be creative, to write down ten crazy ideas and not to judge them. "What if I...?" or "What if we...?" is potentially so much more powerful than falling back on the same old iterations of "I can't", or "That's silly", if you give it the power to be.

At our offices, we have a regular meeting scheduled where everyone's required to brainstorm their "silliest" ideas out loud. No judging, no self-censorship, just let it out and run with it. And you know what? Some of our most important, innovative products and services have come out of those silly sessions. 

Kids don't self-censor. They boldly go into worlds of imagination, in which anything is possible, becoming superheroes with a towel tied around their shoulders, or astronauts in a cardboard space shuttle. A suburban backyard becomes the Amazon; a makeshift tent, a castle. What a shame it is that so many of us lose the ability to see the world through the eyes of imagination, of possibility, of magic!
Don't be afraid to be a child, think as a child, or to view the world and your business through a child-like perspective. Don't be afraid to be silly, to dream, to imagine, to share, to play. Innovation requires the bold step of silencing your inner adult -- especially if all he can say is, "That's silly".