The 3 minute rule

Kill the idea killers

Use the 3 minute rule to get more ideas

Do you want to get rid of these idea killers during a meeting. Then apply the 3-minute rule. Global speaker Cyriel Kortleven is an expert in Creativity & the Change Mindset. He'll give you a simple tip plus a concrete tool to make sure that everybody will suspend their judgement.

Expressions like ‘Yes but’, ‘We don’t have time’, ‘No budget’ are perfect excuses to kill new ideas. For
that reason, use the three-minute rule in combination with the idea killers poster.
I guarantee you that this exercise will help you to double or triple the number of ideas that you have
during a meeting (if you apply the exercise in the right way ;-)). Human beings have a tendency to
criticize and judge new things. It happens in a fraction of a second where our brain looks at the new
idea and compares it with previous experiences. And if there’s a big difference between the new idea
and the things that it knows, it blocks the idea because it doesn’t fit in the picture.
There are a lot of (sometimes good) reasons why we do this: being afraid to go out of our comfort
zone, we only see the downside of the idea, we expect that the new idea will cost a lot of money, and
will take a lot of time, … We call all these reasons idea killers. All kind of expressions that are meant
to keep the status quo and make sure that we don’t have to change. You can download a poster with
idea killers via this link:

The three-minute rule works as follows: explain your colleagues in the meeting that humans don’t like
to suspend their judgement but it’s a necessary skill if you want to get new ideas. For that reason, you
invite them -for three minutes – to get into the yes and mindset. Instead of responding with an idea
killer to a new idea, they have to answer with ‘Yes and …’ where you accept the idea and you even
add something to it. It might be very interesting to put a print of the idea killer-poster on the table
before you start.

During the 3 minutes, no judgement is allowed and quantity is more important than quality at that
moment. If somebody comes up with an idea killer during the three minutes, you can point to the idea
killers poster. The punishment for killing one idea is to come up with two new ideas. You will notice
that in three minutes, you will have a lot more ideas than in a normal meeting-setting – probably also
some crazy ideas but that’s not a problem because you don’t need to implement all of them. Maybe
you can use some elements of an idea that might be feasible and combine different small ideas to
one or two good ones. Another big advantage of this method is that everybody has a chance to
contribute so the chance that the idea will be implemented in reality also grows substantially.
Just give it a try! Good luck …

PS: Don’t use this yes and … rule all the time, only for some of the topics where creative ideas are
needed (probably only 5 – 10 % of the topics on the agenda). There’s nothing wrong with judging (we
would go crazy if we had to think in an open, yes and -mindset all the time) but use it wisely when the
need for alternative solutions is high.