Wasteful energy

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.” Ed Catmull, Pixar

There are moments in companies where a lot of time and energy is wasted debating whether an idea is good or not, instead of fixing the process of work to ensure an amazing outcome is delivered. The problem is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. People can be very protective over their ‘good ideas’.

The best thing that can be done in situations like this is to help a team become productive. Help them become a ‘brilliant team’. This will enable them to create something quickly and develop a way of working that helps take an abstract idea and make it concrete. As the idea takes form, discussions and debates can then happen about how well the idea solves a problem or meets an objective. At this point, teams can start improving the original idea or ‘pivot’ in a way that takes the idea in a very different direction.


Will the current approach to work lead to the inevitable conclusion of an amazing product or service? If not, don’t spend too much time debating whether an idea is great or not, focus on fixing the way people work together.

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