1. Generate ideas in moderation: A surplus of ideas can be just as detrimental as a deficit.
2. Organize with a bias to action: Compromise idea generation to make ideas happen. Focus only on what’s actionable.
3. Measure a meeting in action steps: Don’t just have a meeting because it’s Monday. If there are no action steps, it shouldn’t have been a meeting at all.
4. Have a culture of capturing action steps: The same way a waiter who doesn’t write down an order might forget items, a meeting without a secretary might cause the team to later forget what’s been discussed. It’s therefore important to nominate a secretary.
5. Create a back burner ritual: Whether it be a Word document or an email folder of ideas that may or may not be worth getting around to someday, find a way to organize non-urgent ideas and a time (weekly, monthly) to revisit them.
6. Share ideas liberally: Instead of worrying that ideas are stupid or might get stolen, share them prematurely, even if this means sharing ownership of them. A candidate can’t run for office without a team, and an idea similarly won’t get off the ground if you’re the only one who cares about it.
7. Fight your way to breakthroughs: Fighting can be an important part of a relationship, even a professional relationship. Sometimes engaging in conflict can yield a solid resolution.
8. Value the team’s immune system: It’s healthy for the team to kill off ideas.
9. Leaders talk last: Silence the visionary. You fail to engage new ideas if the most important person in the room talks first.
10. Judge based on initiative, not experience: Sometimes the most qualified person for the job isn’t the person with the most relevant experience, but rather the person with the most drive, persistence or creativity.
11. Unique is opportune: We tend to shun people before we celebrate them (college dropouts, for example), but nothing is ever achieved through ordinary means.