If you don’t like someone else’s flag, don’t pull it down

Your big idea for your town doesn’t require unanimous consent. You just need you and your big idea. Put your idea on a flag, and plant your flag where everyone can see it. People who like the idea will be drawn to you. 

Here’s the thing: don’t tear down anyone else’s flag. You don’t have to like their idea, but it’s not your job to tear down ideas. 

That means not running other people’s ideas down. Not throwing out problems and objections and reasons why not. 

We’re used to having to convince others their ideas are bad so they’ll have to come over and join us and we win. That’s not how it works now. You’re Idea Friendly. And that means not just that others are friendly to your ideas, but also that you are friendly to everyone’s ideas. 

You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to work on it, but you don’t get to say bad things about it. Even if you think it’s wrong. 

OK, but what if you know an idea is wrong? Then here is the one and only Idea Friendly approved response:

“How could you test that idea in some tiny way?” 

And that’s the same response you’ll give to ideas you think are good. It’s always the response to anyone else’s idea. 

Because it’s better to let people run their own tiny test and learn for themselves than for you to tell them. 

Yes, I know you (well, a few of you) are formulating replies with examples and reasons why just have to tell people not to try, but I’m telling you this right now: 

Idea Friendly means not tearing down anyone else’s idea. You treat everyone else’s idea with the respect you want for your own. 

Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – If you’re within a couple hours driving distance of Boise, Idaho, and are interested in talking about a visit from me, just hit reply. I’ll be at an event in Boise on April 17 and 18, so I could work in a visit before or after.