More and Better Ideas

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Innovation is important. It gives a company competitive advantage and sustainability. But innovation without good ideas is impotent.

No matter what kind of innovation you want, you need as many good ideas as you can get. Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder say that: “Research shows that 80 percent of an organization’s improvement potential lies in front-line ideas – a potential that most organizations fail to tap.”

There’s more in their Chief Executive article, “Ways CEOs Can Get More and Better Ideas.” Don’t be put off by the title, there’s something here for you, even if you’re a long way from the top of the org chart.

There’s even more in their book, The Idea-Driven Organization. I had the opportunity to read a pre-publication version of the book so I can tell you that it has two things I always look for in a business book.

There are lots of well-told stories about how companies have implemented the authors’ ideas. Most of the examples were new to me, so I value them more. The book is also based on some solid research.

If the article or book whet your appetite for more on creativity and innovation, here are a few more resources.

From Timothy Egan: Creativity vs. Quants

“To be original, you need messiness and magic, serendipity and insanity.”

From Matt Palmquist: Unleashing Creativity

“Although the forward-thinking and innovative efforts of employees drive many elements of corporate strategy and success, managers lag behind in their ability to support such creative endeavors. They must give employees the resources to take on their own pet projects, and turn them into corporate assets.”

From David Aycan and Paolo Lorenzoni: The Future of Prototyping Is Now Live

“Those tasked with developing new products and experiences have long valued prototyping as a way to fuel creativity, explore options, and test assumptions. By making concepts real, we can more intimately understand the underlying mechanics and make informed judgments. There are two main ways that organizations prototype new products and services: rapid prototyping and piloting. However, we’ve discovered the need for an approach that falls somewhere between the two—to explore the customer value proposition and market appeal of a concept in the more turbulent and distracting context of the live market, but without full investment in a pilot. We call this approach “live prototyping.””

From Wally Bock: A Creativity and Innovation Catechism

“What can I say? I’m a Lutheran Pastor’s child. I grew memorizing the catechism.”


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