Friday, November 6, 2009

Idea Management: How ideas crash.

Sometimes the greatest problem interfering with innovation is the negative mindset of the individuals who are involved in the discussion. This video, which I found on You-Tube, is not only funny, but portrays a sad fact concerning how great ideas can be lost in an organization when the focus is placed on the negative aspects of an idea.

Dr. DeBono’s “Six Thinking Hats” for brainstorming are a great approach for innovating, and of these six none is more important than the yellow one – representing Positivism.

Yes, all ideas, especially in their infancy, will have drawbacks and flaws. The differentiator between organizations which excel as innovators is how they work to smooth the flaws and mature the ideas

My personal recommendation, when engaging in the ideation process and the development of an idea, especially when using idea management software, is that a core requirement of collaborating require that for every flawed aspect of an idea that is pointed out, a positive one is too. The positive one can address a separate aspect of the idea, or perhaps propose a way of mitigating the identified flaw. This helps keep the balance equal or in favor of the positive aspects, but also opens the opportunity to constructively address the flaws.

The key to innovating is keeping the benefits of the idea always at the front of the discussion. The flaws are discussed in order to help identify positive ways to mitigate them. However, rest assured that if only the flaws are discussed the idea will crash faster than a blimp in a hurricane!