A few years ago I had a very interesting discussion with Lisa Bodell, CEO of Futurethink and bestselling author of innovation books Kill the Company and Why Simple Wins.

She told me about how most employees waste far too much time in meetings and answering emails.

They were too busy to get any real work done throughout the day.

In effect, busyness is getting in the way of their business.

Fortunately, she has a simple exercise to help eliminate wasted effort:

Kill a stupid rule

In her TEDx Talk, Lisa talks about how sometimes companies develop rules which no longer serve a valuable purpose. See her story at the 00:10:00 mark in the following video:

She asks individuals and teams to answer the following question:

If you could kill two rules which hold you back from better innovating, what would they be and why?

By getting people to answer this question, often it turns out that what they list is not even a rule in the company at all.

Often, leaders are surprised by what people list, because they are not aware that their teams thought that was a rule at all.

It is usually a routine which people assume is a rule, but could be removed without any negative impact.

So the answer is: Kill those “rules”.

They are not helping anyone, are slowing down innovation, and can theoretically be removed with no negative consequences.

So if you look at your own working routines, which rules could you kill?

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of Ideatovalue.com and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.