The Curious Problem Of ‘Idea Marginalization’ In Companies & How To Tackle It

It never feels good to be marginalised. This holds true across domains- be it personal, social or professional. On the social front, we unfortunately live in an era when forces of marginalisation seem to be on the ascend- a phenomenon that’s proving to be true across the world. Seems like the power of seeing the ‘other’ as ‘lesser’ have no borders. 

On the personal front, divisions between people have been perhaps prevalent since humans began to form groups in our evolutionary past. The solutions to such divisions are largely to be found by the individuals themselves.


Idea marginalization may sabotage the company’s  progress


What this blog post is concerned with is marginalization in an organizational context. And just to be clear, it’s not a marginalization based on race, religion, sexual orientation etc. that we are talking about here. No doubt, these forms of discriminations are to be fought against. But it’s also worth turning our attention to another sort of marginalization that’s commonly prevalent in companies- the marginalization based on ideas.

A key reason why this ‘idea marginalization’ doesn’t get tackled is because it rarely gets talked about. Even if it did, it would be in terms of ‘oh, we prefer this person’s idea over the other’s.’ Note that the socio-political forms of discrimination could also influence this sort of discrimination. But for the sake of argument, let’s put idea discrimination in a separate bracket.


For the brand of idea discrimination we are talking about here is rather peculiar- and is suffered by people across social or cultural divide. Because this form of discrimination is born from a fear of change that is to a certain extent innate to humans.

How does idea marginalization happen?


Consider this scenario: a person- let’s call him Shelly- put across an idea. The listener is William. Now, William is no fool. He sees that Shelly’s idea is powerful. However, he is unsure whether the idea is relevant to the organization’s future or not.

Unfortunately for Shelly, William is above him in hierarchy and he must convince William first of the idea’s merit before it could be implemented in the firm. But no matter how earnestly Shelly argues in favor of the idea’s power, William just wouldn’t hear of it. 

The problem that Shelly faces is somewhat quirky. He is trying to convince William of something which he could already see- the power of the idea. What he couldn’t see is how to use that power to fuel the forward trajectory of the company, or if at all that’s possible.

This lands Shelly in a situation where he is the victim of ‘idea discrimination.’

How it adversely affects organizations

Now, consider that Shelly is an innovator who comes up with great new ideas from time to time. William gets insecure about this since he doesn’t know what to do with these ideas, so he becomes what you may call a ‘serial idea discriminator. ‘

People like William and Shelly are to be found in all companies. And the problem with idea discrimination is that it inhibits organizations from innovating and getting the upper hand in the market.



Tackling idea discrimination with True Personal Vision

William could have judged Shelly’s idea better if he had a yardstick against which he could evaluate it. And that yardstick is his True Personal Vision.

True Personal Vision is the innate vision that’s gto be found in an individual. By definition, it’s unique to each person, and a leader with vision becomes an inspired leader, who knows that  the vision is the objective that the company is chasing, and any idea that hastens that journey is worth implementing.

This removes confusion from decision-making and negates idea discrimination born out of fear.

Unfortunately though, your True Personal Vision gets obscured from your inner view thanks to the myriad distractions of everyday living. To clear your mind enough to realize the vision,Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience and psychological insights, some of the best leadership coaches help guide you to your vision in TVL. 

Touching upon the holistic self encompassing your past experiences, future aspirations, personal convictions and strengths, TVL is conducted in a friendly environment where exchange of meaningful ideas is as important as inner-discovery.

Like this post? Share it with friends