If you come to my brainstorming meeting and say nothing, it would have been better if you hadn’t come at all.
If you go to work and do what you’re told, you’re not being negative, certainly, but the lack of initiative you demonstrate (which, alas, you were trained not to demonstrate) costs us all, because you’re using a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have added more value.
It’s tempting to sit quietly, take notes and comply, rationalizing that at least you’re not doing anything negative. But the opportunity cost your newly lean, highly leveraged organization faces is significant.
Not adding value is the same as taking it away.