Getting new ideas is great, but not every new idea is great.
“Companies have too many experts who block innovation. True innovation really comes from perpendicular thinking.”
– Peter Diamandis
Fresh ideas and concepts are the lifeblood of not just companies, but economies as a whole. Without a consistent stream of new ideas, effective innovation is impossible, competitive advantages are lost, and market shares dwindle. You just can’t do the same thing forever and expect to thrive, let alone survive.
While collecting and managing ideas is hard enough for an organization (until now!), the initial struggle is getting the ideas that management wants. Employees are always willing to share their thoughts, but too often their ideas have been tried before or aren’t aligned with what the company is trying to do.
Apart from companies becoming more transparent and providing context into the ideas they’re looking for, employees need to change the way they think about problems and opportunities too.
Ask yourself this question – How would Amazon do it? Or Under Armour? Or Tesla?
Sure, you’ve never worked at any of those companies, but you know what they do and what they’re known for. Amazon is disrupting retail with their take on logistics and distribution. Under Armour is grabbing market share with strategic endorsements and unique offerings. Tesla is bringing electric automobiles and advanced battery technology mainstream.
These innovators approach their problems in a different way than anyone else, and they owe their success to their steady stream of unique ideas. You might not be in the same industry, but take a few minutes to try to think how they do. If possible, do some research and find out how they solved the issues that you’re going through. Even if their solutions aren’t completely applicable to your problems, the practice can work wonders to spark new ideas that would have remained hidden behind the blinders of your company’s usual thinking.
Managing change and innovation, and coming up with new ideas are all about gaining new perspectives and giving yourself the opportunity to think divergent to the norm. If others are approaching your problems differently or already solving them, why wouldn’t you take a few minutes to put yourself in their shoes?