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The Value of Being Open to Less Good Ideas

These days, one of the most discussed concepts is innovation. Industries and people work hard to introduce new and advanced concepts, whether in terms of technology or for any other purpose. However, the ideas that are most typically judged worthy of being implemented are either those that have previously been successful or those that seem to capture attention from the minute they are offered. The supposedly “less good” ideas have little to no chance of being properly presented. As a result, in this Berkeley Talks audio episode from the Berkeley News channel, artist William Kentridge discusses the value of being open to less good ideas, explaining how less good ideas can occasionally emerge as significant.

The episode begins with William discussing some of his favorite art pieces, such as “Work in Progress” by Alexander Calder, an American artist, in which he emphasizes how things that appear a little haphazard in the beginning turn out to be either beautiful to look at in the end, or really meaningful. He describes how such illustrations push the audience to notice the confusion at first while maintaining the hope that things will eventually become comprehensible. He then discusses how the music complemented the assembling process of these illustrations, where the music first related to the very chaotic rhyme but afterward provided a sense of serenity. He suggests one or two such works of art to explain how they were most likely the concepts that were labeled as “lesser good” than the others to be presented. However, talking about them and learning what such a jumbled artwork signified was well worth it. Through this, William underlines the value of being open to less good ideas by analogizing it to the adage, “If the good doctor cannot heal you, find a less good doctor.” He proposes that people need to realize the value of being open to less good ideas, since when great ideas fail, it is necessary to look for the lesser good ideas on the side. Lastly, he suggests that in order to develop such a mindset, one must retain uncertainty about the very first ideas provided in order for the following ideas to be presented. He states this since individuals are generally so focused on finalizing the item that catches their attention at the time that they miss out on some of the greater things that may come their way later.

People often use approaches or concepts that are either familiar to them or appear to have the greatest potential for producing outcomes. But what if these ostensibly brilliant ideas fail to deliver? The preceding is a detailed explanation of the issue that makes us appreciate the value of being open to less good ideas.

Learn more about being a better professional with a focus on innovation and growth with Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) by the University of California.

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