The best idea wins – regardless of who shares it.

The seventh of #40mantras isn’t just focused on brainstorming. It comes into play across the entire organization, almost daily. Because it changes how you hear.

There’s a strange thing that happens in a business.

The longer you’re there, the more chance you have to move up the corporate ladder. Jr developers become Sr developers. Managers become Directors.

But the higher you get in an organization, the more filtered the data you get about how things are going. So the people making the most important decisions are often those with the best experience and the least data.

An additional consequence of this dynamic is that as we move up the chain of command, regardless of level, we begin to trust ourselves more and those downstream less. After all, we’re the ones with experience. We know better.

But all that does is create a bias to trust the limited information we have. And soon enough, we start ignoring some great ideas because they’re coming from the wrong people.

We trust executives more than directors more than managers more than staff.

We trust senior engineers more than regular developers more than jr developers.

The result of this bias is that we put on blinders to excellent ideas – all because we filter information based on who shares it.

I don’t have to tell you how wrong that is. How unhelpful it is. Because anyone can have insight. Anyone can have input. And anyone can have the idea that will save your company or generate millions in revenue.

That’s why we debate ideas, not people.

Because in the end, the only thing that counts is the best idea.

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