Let Your Ideas Go – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review
“Now, I wasn’t always a believer in openness. I once ran right over other people, because I wanted to be “right” more than I wanted to build an idea that became real in the marketplace. And I personally liked being in charge and controlling and telling other people what to do. I came up through business with the old mentality. In my 20s, I ran a 200M unit at a Fortune 500 company. I remember one particular time when I was locked in a death match with a colleague over whose idea would win. I kept my idea in a closed fist, and fought tooth and nail to both prove it was best and I was the best. I won. The board adopted my plan.
And yet ultimately I lost. I was fired a month later because the team didn’t trust me. I also lost my best friend with whom I had once run a marathon. It was a spectacular failure that helped me move past the industrial era thinking I was trained in.
I started to understand, for any idea to win, I had to let them go, I had to let other people in. After now another 12 years of working through different approaches, I’ve come to a new understanding. It is this: the future is not created; the future is co-created. Whenever we want something bigger, and better, and faster, we need to be able to let go of a tight grip and open up.
Openness is powerful, even catalytic…”