Lesson #9: Get a second opinion on your “bad” ideas.
—Jeff Kirsch, Class of 2011
When you’re starting out, it’s natural to want to share only your most fully formed, promising ideas with your colleagues. This often means spending a long time honing an approach and entering a team meeting with only a single direction. As I’ve grown accustomed to working with a multidisciplinary team, however, I’ve come to realize that the idea I was on the cusp of rejecting might just contain the seed of a better solution when seen through someone else’s eyes.
So I’ve made a rule of always presenting at least three solutions—even if I sometimes feel the need to preface two of them by saying, “This might be crazy, but…” Often we’ll go with the initial approach, but sometimes the really interesting stuff is sparked by the thing I previously would have tossed away.
Jeff Kirsch is an Interaction Designer at Thompson Reuters, New York City, NY, USA