Justin Kan of Justin.tv writing for Business Insider:
A lot of startup talk seems to say that you should simply get a lot of smart people together and let them do whatever they want until something sticks, and that is a recipe for success in everything (product, team happiness). This is wrong. So wrong.
Creativity comes from constraints and direction. For us, the hard part of this was to actually define the problems / goals we were attacking and then ruthlessly refuse projects that didn’t address these. Instead, we found it so much easier to simply say “yes” whenever someone suggested something, but then let it die later through neglect or lack of interest – on purpose, or otherwise. This is a horrible idea, because it not only communicates an utter lack of focus but it is completely and utterly opposite of honest communication, and leads to people feeling betrayed, and rightly so.
Instead, you should provide a problem and framework, then let employee X figure out the solution.