How to prevent a good idea from perishing
Out of 10 business ideas, approximately 7-8 are never realized – these disappointing conclusions are presented in the business press. The root cause of such failures lies in the inability of managers to create such a safe environment where ideas are discussed, tested and developed. Dmitry Trepolsky, Development Director of PR-agency PRonline, tells where good ideas can come from, how to organize a “brainstorming” and why the team’s resistance is inevitable
Where can I get good ideas?Sometimes they appear at the moment of insight, prompting a solution to the annoying problem, which you can not get rid of. And sometimes the path to an idea runs through discovery. Although the leader is not always the one from whom interesting ideas come from, he plays a critical role by creating a safe environment where all new ideas are discussed and tested.
The essence of any discovery is the search for problems that need to be addressed, as well as the analysis of information, which may indicate future trends. Every day, each member of the organization is engaged in a particular type of search: gets acquainted with the latest news, visits production workshops, talks with operational personnel, meets with clients and colleagues.
Each time you find any new information, you sow the seeds of discovery. Of course, this does not mean that all newfound data should give impetus to action, but some information can be “saved for later” when its content becomes clear and the value is obvious.
The ability or inability to make new discoveries directly depends on the quality of communications and the movement of information flows. In some organizations, information moves within a vicious circle, and the composition of their teams is very homogeneous. That is why those who need certain information may not receive it. And the invisible “fences” between the units can be so “high” that there is absolutely no room for spontaneous conversations, which sometimes lead to random discoveries.
How to organize the moment of “Eureka!”
If everyone in the team has similar experience and education and performs the same tasks, then it becomes much more difficult to ignite the “spark” of creative search. In such situations, the moment “Eureka!” May never happen at all if the head does not establish effective communications and does not ensure the free flow of information.
For a discovery to be the beginning of the process of generating ideas, leaders must define clear parameters. But if the problem needs to be solved immediately (or if budgetary constraints are strongly pressured), then the leader can narrow the boundaries of the space for generating ideas. When an idea acquires signs of vitality, a movement can begin before it is realized. This means that you need to get support from those who do not belong to your project team.
Should a leader consider an idea in the context of an entire organization? Or is it revolutionary in nature? Or fits into what the company traditionally does?
For such questions, it is better to seek support from the group or individuals who are most open to the perception of the new. For example, if an idea is truly breakthrough, then maybe you should not first submit it to the financial director, who thinks in more traditional categories.
Or maybe the new vice president was hired precisely because he has a good “nose” for interesting creative things?
Then he will become your ally in the first stages of the design life cycle. True leaders must know organizational territory well and have an idea of where potential supporters are, and where those who are likely to show stubborn resistance to the new plan. Therefore, you first need to attract likely supporters, and then move on to working with opponents.
Resistance to new designs will always be
It is important to always remember the fact that there will always be resistance – and this should be taken for granted. In theory, everyone is in favor of change and it is unlikely that anyone will openly oppose it. But someone at the same time may start to say something like this: “We have already tried to do this and got a not very good effect.” That is, no one will convince you that you need to abandon the idea. It just sends a signal: it might be better not to even try to work with it. Such resistance must be prepared in advance by developing the right strategy for responding to objections.