My employer isn’t interested in my ideas

 Dave Birss , writer, speaker, advisor

18 JULY 2019

I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. I experienced this exact thing when I was working in creative industries. And they’re supposed to be the ones who understand the value of a good idea!

So this is a transcript of the video. It captures every stupid word choice and every piece of awful phrasing. Enjoy!

And if you’re not already subscribed, please subscribe to the channel. Unless you find this stuff utterly useless and you think I’m intolerably irritating. But these are the only two excuses I’ll accept.

*intro blurb ends here* 




Hi! I’m Dave Birss. And in this episode we’re going to be addressing a question from somebody who works for a company that is not interested in their ideas.

Not at all.

Not one bit.

Let’s do this thing

Hello. Welcome. I hope you’re doing well. I hope your back isn’t troubling you and you don’t have toothache. I hope that you are just feeling on top of the world. And if you’ve not subscribed already please – I am asking you please – it would mean a lot to me if you subscribed.

That’s that unpleasant bit out of the road. Now onto what today’s episode is all about. I was sent a question by somebody who subscribes to my newsletter. If you don’t subscribe to my newsletter go along to my site. Sign up for the newsletter and you will hear from me every couple of weeks or so and you’ll see a lot of the stuff that I’m up to and you’ll find out when the videos are out. You’ll find out when I write articles. All that kind of stuff. Anyway, this person who subscribed to the [newsletter] just asked a very simple question. They said:

“I work for a company that doesn’t care about my ideas. What should I do?”

Well, let’s get the most uncomfortable suggestion out the road first: quit.

Yeah, just quit!

Don’t let a place like that bring you down. Go to a place where you’ve got opportunities. Go to a place that’s inspiring. If you’re working for a company that limits you, that diminishes you, that demoralizes you – you shouldn’t be there. Go. That’s it. Thank you very much for watching. That’s all for today. Bye.

Okay okay okay. Yes, I know. It’s not quite as easy as that for most people. You can’t just yell “£@*% it!” and walk out. That’s what you want to do but you kind of have responsibilities.

Maybe you’ve got a big mortgage. Maybe you’ve got car payments. Maybe you’ve got kids who go to expensive euphonium lessons. Or maybe you want to stay because you’re having a fling with the new intern and accounts. I’m not judging you. Just be careful. Don’t break their heart. Do you promise me? Please. Thank you.

So what do you do if you can’t just throw in the towel? Well, here are some suggestions. As for me, I kind of like throwing towels.



Maybe you could start a side-gig or a passion project. If you’ve got ideas don’t let them go stale. Do something with them. So I challenge you if you’ve got ideas to do some research, work out how you might make them happen. Talk to some people and ask their opinions, ask their advice. Look at what skills you’re going to need and what resources you’re going to need to make it happen. Look at the whole thing. Be serious about it.

Now you might be surprised where this can take you. One of the things that it does is it educates you on how to actually complete a project. And that is a vital valuable skill for anyone who’s going to come up with ideas whoever they are. It’s going to teach you how to do problem-solving – because I can assure you that you’re going to hit problems. And you’re going to have to work your way around those problems by thinking at them from different perspectives.

You’re going to come out of it a much better person. It’s like going to university. It’s a learning experience that you will definitely benefit from.



Of course, maybe you should start looking elsewhere. Make a smooth transition into another job. One way you can do that is to do the traditional route and go through recruiters. Start looking at recruitment ads and see what there is out there.

But there’s another way. And here’s something that I tried that worked really well for me. You find people in the industry that you really admire and you contact them. And you ask them for advice. You say “Look, I’m keen. I’m wanting to progress. I’m wanting to do things in my job. I just, I admire you.” OK, massage their ego! Tell them this: “I admire you and I would really, really appreciate your advice.”

You’ll be surprised how many of them say “yes”. And you go along and you meet them for a coffee or a drink or just sit in their office, have a chat. And actually ask for their advice. Don’t try and sell yourself at them. Don’t beg for a job going “Please, please! I’m hating this!” Tell them the situation you’re in. Tell them that you’re wanting to make a transition to something better. But you would appreciate their experienced advice on how you could do that. And then you’ll ask them for contacts as well. You’ll ask them who they would recommend that you speak to. And you’ll end up having the top people in the industry on speed dial. (Is speed dial a thing anymore? I mean, I was never smart enough to use it on my mobile phone in the first place… I don’t… maybe it’s not a thing.)

Anyway, go out there, approach the top people in the industry, get together with them, ask their advice, put yourself on their radar, let them see how passionate you are and it might just work for you.


OK. I’m only saying this one because you want to hear it. Because in your heart of hearts you want to believe that this is possible.

Here we go. Try to change your existing workplace. There! I’ve said it.

I don’t believe it. I don’t believe you’ll be able to do it. I think that it will be exhausting. I think it’ll be demoralising. I think you will just get frustrated and angry. I think that you’re going to come up against people who are not interested in what you’re trying to do. You’ll come up against a system that is not designed for the changes you want to make. You’ll come up against leadership who have no interest in making the changes and going to the effort of doing something that improves their company. But please go for it.

Put all your energy into it. Try and make it work. Because if you do I want you to get in touch. Nothing would make me happier than if you succeeded! Because I want you to get in touch and I want you to tell me how you did it, how you changed a workforce that did not want to make the changes you are suggesting. Everyone wants to know that. We all want to know. Please! Go for it. Let me know. I’ll share it with the world.



OK. This is the part where I talk about things that I think might inspire you, might help you have better ideas. And I want to talk about a site that is really inspiring. I’m loving it right now. It’s also, it’s an app. I’ve got it on my phone. It’s ‘dribbble‘. Dribbble with three ‘B’s. Dri-b-b-b-le. And what this is, is it’s a site where people upload designs and they upload just lovely pieces of animation, typography, stuff that is just beautiful, pieces of interaction.

Now, I particularly love the illustration stuff on here. The illustration, the typography and the animation is the stuff that really, really excites me. I have printed out some of the stuff that I really, really like and I’ve put it in frames behind me here. And I want to show you three of the artists that I’m particularly enjoying at the moment. It’s, you know, it’s a bit like Tinder for – uh – tinder for illustration, tinder for artistic stuff. I find the stuff that I think is good. I will ‘like’ it. I will add it to a bucket, so I can look at it later. And I’ll usually leave a little comment to say “I really liked what you’ve done”. So let me point to three things that I think are rather good that I’ve enjoyed recently.

So right here there’s this gorgeous swan illustration. And this has been done by Mina FZ. And I just love this. I do a bit of illustration – I illustrated a book for someone last year – and I still do a little bit of illustration here and there. I would love to be able to paint like this. And maybe I will actually take this and see if I can just copy the techniques here so I can get better at painting water and being able to put it in some of my illustrations. But this here is just gorgeous.

Let me show you another one. OK. This is an illustration by Nebojsa Matkovic. I’m so sorry if I have pronounced your name wrong! Please forgive me if I have. I’m Scottish. So this here, I’ve actually printed out and I’ve put it the wrong way round. I believe it was that way around that the illustration originally was. I think this is just beautiful. And so simple. An amazing use of colour. I think that it’s just something that I wish that I had done

The last one I want to show you is this beautiful, simple illustration by somebody who calls herself Tatooine Girl. And again I just love how simple and beautiful this is. It feels as if every single line is considered. It’s really exquisite. I love it.

So hopefully you get an idea then of why I like going through dribbble. It makes me feel happy seeing great pieces of design and illustration. So please go along there. Have a look. Tell these artists there that their work is awesome. If you see something you like encourage people. That’s great.

But that’s all from me this week. The usual stuff: if you like it, press ‘like’. That’s what the whole ‘like’ button is for. If you like it, you’re supposed to ‘like’ it!

Comment. Share it. Subscribe if you’ve not subscribed. Please, please, please subscribe! I will give you a hug over the Internet if you subscribe. I just appreciate it so much. That’s all from me. I’ll be back here very soon with more pieces of inspiration and things to help you come up with better ideas. But in the meantime, big love to your beautiful brain!