Never Say No to Ideas

Does a yes-first culture exist within your organization?

Summary
Transcript

Brad Wise, chief creative officer at Rebel Pilgrim Productions, shares why it’s crucial for leaders to establish a yes-first culture within their organization.

“I would say to any CEO who has a creative working for them: Listen to them and even if this crazy idea scares them or even if it feels like it's going to cost way too much money, or it's just maybe even initially a bad idea, fight that temptation to just say no and just say yes and then give them a chance to prove you wrong,” says Brad. “The reality is you hired that creative person for a reason.”

Watch the video to learn more from Brad about why leaders should never say no to ideas.

My first job as a creative director, I entered into a culture that was, I think, no first. Even though they didn't really realize it, that's how they were. In a creative setting, I would throw out ideas and I would immediately get met with, "Well, we can't do that," or, "That's not how we've always done it," or just any variation of no that you can imagine.

So I struggled. It was like every creative meeting, it would be I would come with ideas, get shot down and then have no way to go back and prove those folks wrong because I didn't have a team. All I had was myself. And so things changed when some shifting in the staff started to happen and I got to bring on a partner in Isaac, who was the ultimate doer and who, when I got to throw out an idea, I knew Isaac was there to back me up. That we could then go out. "Can we go shoot this video whatever in a week and edit it by Saturday?" They would say no, but, at this point, I knew I had the person who could pull it off with me. And we went out and did it and I started to see that shift the culture from it being a no-first culture to a maybe culture to then, eventually, once you start proving enough people that their no is wrong, it can eventually turn into a yes-first culture.

So I would say to any CEO who has a creative working for them, listen to them and even if this crazy idea scares them or even if it feels like it's going to cost way too much money, or it's just maybe even initially a bad idea, fight that temptation to just say no and just say yes and then give them a chance to prove you wrong. Because the reality is you hired that creative person for a reason. You want that certain magic that happens when they get excited about something. So I would say to just be open to letting them make a little bit of a mess and just see what kind of thing they may create, given the tools and given the people around them to make that thing that might make your company better.
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Brad Wise

Brad Wise is the chief creative officer for Rebel Pilgrim Productions based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He co-wrote and produced the documentary, "Road to Emmaus, PA" and wrote and directed the racial drama, "Fenced Off," as well as the quir...

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