Idea Meritocracy is all about the belief that the best ideas win out. Following this line of thought, one should rigorously investigate her/his own ideas and be open and tolerant to other people’s ideas and viewpoints with the aim of bringing out the best ideas in people. Without tru idea-meritocracy ideas would be locked inside people’s heads or desktops.
Embracing this mindset would, therefore, require someone who is willing to overcome her/his ego and become open to radical truthfulness, candid feedback, and is welcoming to know and to understand others’ perceptions of her/his strengths and weaknesses.
Under the umbrella of Leadership, a leader who advocates this thinking and leading style would encourage constructive critique; which would comprise that employees at all levels challenge her/his ideas and strategies, thus, stimulating radical transparency.
As Ray Dalio, who coined the term ‘idea meritocracy’, states “If (employees) can de-addict themselves to their egos and their blind-spot barriers and make it to the other side, it’s great”.
How to become an idea-meritocratic leader?
To effectively implement Idea Meritocracy, “people need to do three things:
- Put their honest thoughts on the table for everyone to see.
- Have thoughtful disagreements in which there are reasonable back-and-forths in which people evolve their thinking to come up with better decisions than they could come up with individually.
- If disagreements remain, have agreed upon protocols that get people past them in idea-meritocratic ways.
Idea Meritocracy can have an impressive impact on the team spirit as everyone’s voice is heard and where people can have a real impact on the decision making process within their organizations.
It is not easy to establish a true idea meritocracy as it needs the leader to be extremely open-minded about criticism and to establish solid multi-way communication channels within the organization.