No matter what you do, the most important thing you can create are ideas. Everyone has an idea at some point; most people have multiple ideas on any given day; some have multiple ideas at any given moment. We build businesses on ideas; we make dramatic changes based on ideas; we can change the world with a single idea. Unfortunately, most of us are very hesitant to share our ideas.
We hesitate because we are unsure how others will respond. We hesitate because we know others will fight against our ideas. We hesitate because we are afraid of the ensuing discussion about our ideas. We hesitate because we are afraid others will think the idea is stupid or ridiculous. We hesitate because we want others to figure things out. We hesitate because we are scared. We hesitate because our ideas may fail. We hesitate because others may expect us to have more ideas.
For all these reasons and many more, we fail to share our ideas with the world. We keep them to ourselves and forget most of them because we don't pursue them. We choose to remain quiet and never find out if the idea would work. These ideas, this driving force for change, are kept quiet and are never uttered. They are never discussed and never have the opportunity to evolve in to something great.
Is it possible to develop an environment where everyone is comfortable sharing their ideas? I believe we can, but part of the onus is on the individual. We have to become comfortable sharing ideas that might fail. We have to become comfortable with our ideas being discussed and critiqued. The discussion and critique are important because these can take good ideas and change them to great ideas. We have to be comfortable knowing all of our ideas will not be put in to practice. We have to be comfortable continuing to share new ideas, no matter what happens with the last ones we shared.
Not all of our ideas will be great, many may even be bad ideas. Sharing them is the most important thing we can do with them, though. Even bad ideas can lead other people to think in a different way and can help create great ideas. We are only going to push ourselves, our businesses and our world forward if we can figure out how to be comfortable sharing any of our ideas. Ideas are the fuel for change. A single, simple idea could dramatically alter the future. Shouldn't this idea be shared?