Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is there such a thing as bad ideas or too many ideas?

There are rich context of innovation and unstoppable fountain of creativity.

Innovation is the light every organization is pursuing. However, very few organizations can manage innovation idea and portfolio effectively, what’re the problems. Nowadays, digital provides unprecedented opportunity to collaborate cross-boundary and co-create ideas regardless of your location, there are rich context of innovation and unstoppable fountain of creativity. So if the problem is not lack of ideas, could the opposite be true: Is there such a thing as bad ideas or too many ideas?

There is no such thing as bad idea. Albert Einstein said, "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."Ideas are seeds of creativity that can change a certain situation and future. Getting crazy ideas isn't a problem; having too much information may cause a problem if it is not processed effectively. Information may be one of the most time intensive pieces to the innovation puzzle (X). Information is growing exponentially and it is humanly impossible to explore all of the "art" out there around a subject or technology. The pitfalls include the more information one collects or considers the more trapped inside a box you become.

It’s not about too many ideas, but about lack of effective process to accelerate idea validation: One of the issues about generating too many ideas is that one can get stuck in the rut of idea generation only. An idea is just an idea unless executed. Focusing or convergent thinking helps in terms of the execution of an idea. In other words, focusing helps validate or invalidate an idea. Companies need to have a process in place that allows for the submission of ideas that filters out the ‘craziness’ that sometimes occurs in brainstorming. To do that, provide a method for submitting idea's that asks the person with the idea to help quantify the potential benefits of their idea; what is expected for market size, the expected cost or profit, list the pros & cons of the idea, how would the idea benefit the customer, the company or the employees, etc. And then acknowledge the person who submits the idea! They may not be able to answer in much detail, but it will validate the good ideas from the mix. Then a product team can start the task of filling in the blanks that will allow all the ideas to be ranked for consideration. Hence, the answer to the question, is No, having many ideas is not dangerous if they are submitted with the best of intentions.

It's more a matter of focus and refinement to what you want to accomplish. Having lots of ideas is not a bad thing. The problems start when people start to choose the best idea of them to implement. If you remember that ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique, then having a big amount of ideas is a good thing as long as you then try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into one solid implementation/ outcome. 

Therefore, there’s no such things as too many ideas, It all depends on what you want to achieve and in which circumstances. One of the real challenges to innovation management is how to accelerate idea validation and streamline innovation process. In a business enterprise context, the mantra of "there are no bad ideas" is often used as a catalyst to encourage a flow of ideas, which leads to innovation, which may lead to competitive advantage, which stimulates growth of revenue and profit.


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