The Effective Executive – How to Kill Ideas


Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 17th episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp discusses how to kill ideas in your organization. Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.
Resources mentioned in this episode:

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 17

Killing Ideas – Story

Making Mistakes OK

Killing Your Organization




[00:00:01] Hi, I’m Tripp Babbitt. This is the 17th episode of the Effective Executive podcast, but it will also be shown on my YouTube channel as a video. In the last episode, I talked about learning as being the kind of the one secret to being an effective executive, and I really believe that. And part of that learning needs to be that you develop your synthetic thinking skills, that you understand and have a method for decision making and learn a method, learn a method to innovate. Learn a method for executive data analytics and using data and learn a method to design your organization or organizational design. Now, if I go all the way back to Episode four back in October, early October, there were two errors that I talked about. One was errors of commission, which is doing something that shouldn’t have been done. And then there are errors of omission, not doing something that should have been done. Now, I’d like to give an example of an error of omission. Back in the early 2000s, right after 9/11, I was working with a transaction switchin financial organization and. I started to talk to a few people about just after 9/11, probably, maybe. Two weeks, three weeks after, and there was a lot of folks that were wanting to donate to the families and police officers and firemen that were all involved in what was happening after 9/11, I would so many people died and it was the the location of this particular business was not far from Manhattan or from where the towers went down.


[00:02:14] So you have to remember also that at this time, this is 2001, there was no such thing as go fund me. So I as I started listening to some of the reports of people setting up fictitious accounts and things that donate to that were raising money and they had. Kind of bad intentions of what they were going to do with the money came into my mind. Heck, we’re doing transactions. We’re seeing we can put these things into ATMs as an option to donate to ones that had been vetted, ones being not for profit. Organizations that had been vetted through possibly our own business hadn’t really thought that far through. But so I took the idea. I went around to a few different folks, you know, how hard would this be just to add, you know, a donate button on there? And I thought, boy, that would be, you know, do society good. It would be a way of getting funds and, you know, vetting them and making sure that these not for profits were are what they they said they were. And, um, so I took it to the president of the company and in essence, got shot down almost out of hand. You know, it was kind of like, well, we don’t have time to look at this type of stuff.


[00:03:53] But the irony of this, from my perspective, was that almost. 15 years later, all of these executives from this transaction switching company are in some way working with a nonprofit element in developing transaction switching types of things. So if if people sometimes would not out of hand discard ideas, maybe we would have been the go fund me back in two thousand and one. Who knows? The second thing I want to do is when I was working with a nonprofit, there was a volunteer that came up with an idea of a way to raise money for the not for profit organization and almost took this volunteer a long time to convince the director that, hey, let’s at least try this and see what happens. And it was an idea. And of course, there’s somebody that didn’t like the idea within the organization, said it wasn’t going to work and it didn’t work. And so the director went back to this volunteer and basically said. You know, it didn’t work, we knew it wouldn’t work, it was a bad idea and, you know, shame on you basically. So the excuse me the outcome was that the volunteer will never give a new idea to this director again. And they told me so. So keep that in mind. This is a way to kill your organization with regards to ideas.


[00:05:42] So wrongness, mistakes and and failure are OK in a system embracing scientific method, but it requires acceptance of miscalculations, intentional learning. And I want to emphasize here intentional learning. In other words, are we doing something? And we’re trying to learn from it in an intentional way. Now, I could also go into and basically say get the same reaction if somebody doesn’t follow. You know, you hear this all the time. They didn’t follow the rule. They didn’t follow the procedure. They didn’t follow the script. They didn’t follow the policy. Whatever it is, the question really should be why didn’t they?


[00:06:31] But I don’t want to get too far off this topic of wrongness and mistakes and failure, because what I want organizations to bill their executives to realize is that wrongness is a human condition.


[00:06:44] And gloating, shaming, patronizing and condescending acts for ideas and mistakes will kill, kill your organization.


[00:06:55] Instead, an effective executive look for ways to build intentional learning. How can we go about and do this in an intentional way? And if you don’t have a method for it? Again, the executive education program that I have takes you through some of these things, developing your synthetic thinking, being the foundational piece of all of this. Hope we get something out of this, if you’re listening to this on a YouTube video, please subscribe going to come out with two to three releases every week. And if you’re listening to the podcast, it’s going to be once a week on Monday unless some extenuating circumstances happens. Talk to you next week or next video.


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