"The key is to choose things that you think are very important and focus on them like a laser." – Jeff Bezos, Founder and Chairman, Amazon.com
Of all the ways of discovering new ideas, the Walt Disney Company in Eisner years, had one of the unconventional methods. Designed for TV show 70, Disney "Gong Show" was a big hit with status and file workers. Three times a year, Eisner and two of his top liars would defend the day to listen to everyone and everyone – the secretary, put designers, theme parks – who wanted to throw an idea. Up to 40 people were able to perform, present or mimic their ideas until the loud gong would indicate that the time was up. Then, after all the ideas were moved, Eisner and his executives would discuss each and every one and make a decision.
Somewhat unconventional, yes, but it worked incredibly well. According to Peter Schneider, President of Disney featured at the time, most of Disney films came from these meetings, like the concept of Disney stores. Most organizations do not offer ideas with almost this great talent. They do not give instant feedback or make quick yes / no decisions. "In most companies there is no obvious technique for choosing or even evaluating ideas," concludes the United States survey of 1,356 international executives. Almost half (48%) respondents announced that their company "did not usually have a policy to evaluate ideas." Next most common answer? About 17% said they used "independent review and evaluation", but 15% said "ideas were evaluated by the unit manager where the idea was presented."
An effective choice links your "ideas" to your ideology. "Without it, this is winnowing haphazard, hierarchical, and deduced from being novelties.
Advantages of Strong Values
When I work with companies that begin their innovation, I often hear managers say that they have "too many ideas, not too few." How can you get too many good ideas, I ask. For further discussion, it is often clear that they have too many half-stacked incremental ideas that are about to go fast. "We never seem to kill an idea," is a comment I often hear. What clues are there that no system exists, no audit board or committee, to navigate, arrange, reject, motivate, prioritize and very "green light "As Yogi Berra would say," if you do not know where you're going then you'll probably win somewhere else. "
It takes 80 to 100 raw materials to stretch one or two who are promising to conduct. Thus, the task of the election group is to identify one or two – but to do it without demoralizing those who are not approved ideas. The election group serves not only judges, but also teaching vehicles. At Disney, a regular contribution came victory and fear of rejection to stand for the chief and sell their ideas. Why? Because they knew they were fair, though short, hearing and at least some honest comments about why their idea was not chosen. When employees see that their ideas get a fair hearing, they begin to bring more of them. On Google, Marissa Mayer and the core management team meet several times a week to listen to an infinite stream of new ideas. Googlers have up to five minutes to suggest next GMail, Froogle, Search, or Google Earth. If they are shy, they can send through the company's idea management system. When it comes to choice, no one fits any size. Your method just needs to match your culture and create transparency for wanting to be indoors.
Establishing Criteria are Important
Most companies never go around to spell out the ideas they're looking for – so their criteria are unclear. Without a guideline, every idea is equal, leading to bottlenecks and battles of resource shortages and reluctance. "People never leave their pet ideas about this company," is another comment I often hear.
Well-possible criteria, however, can be used to make people think bigger, to stretch them. Jeff Immelt, CEO, requires each department to produce three ideological revolutions a year – game change ideas that create a new business model or product line with 100 million US dollars in maximum revenue within three years. Selection criteria are best when simple and memorable; They are the most valuable when they are generally understood through the organization. At WL Gore & Associates, the criteria have been reduced to three words: Real, Win, Worth. Is an opportunity real? Can we work with it on the market? Is it worth pursuing?
In America, selections in each unit evaluate ideas using a well-known card. Use simple zero to five levels, ideas get evaluated on such issues as: ease implementation, relationship impact, customer satisfaction and of course income potential. With one technology company, the criteria came down to five questions:
1. This idea fits our innovation policy? 2. Does it make a new value for our customers? 3. Is there a demand for this innovation? 4. Will the managers support it? 5. Can the solution be qualified?
Getting the Right People in the Selection Group
Unfortunately, select groups often end up with people who have little or no relationship with customers and market needs and lack the sense of innovation. It is necessary to set clinical criteria, but those who apply the criteria to actual ideas must also assess limit values, especially for radical ideas about innovation. For example, if the criteria ask if there is a "demand for this new product / service" it might be easy to say no. But game changes innovations – the mobile phone, Post-it Note, the Internet – always create demand. And customers do not know what they want until they see it and use it. So while the selection criteria are critical, you also have the right people in your choice / review team to make leading reviews.
The show of the selection group must not prevent the flow of new ideas, but should encourage more participation. Team members must be viewed as impartial, entrepreneurial (in relation to markets and customer needs) and talented to build ideas themselves rather than sitting in court only. Selection meetings should be an interactive meeting, with the focus on the questions and the unknowns as much as the answers, on the level of passion and commitment as much as how much of the individual's experience points to the idea. In a large international bank I worked with at the beginning of this decade, we set up Magnet Teams in each country where the bank strived to make an idea choice and monitor compliance and risk management issues. At one point, we started to hear complaints that these teams were working more like policemen than coaches who helped you to play by the rules, but who would also like you to reach.
Choosing a choice can not be sure to find ideology, but it will reduce the idea window and allow you, as Jeff Bezos says, "choose the things that are very important and focus on them like lasers . "No wonder idea choice is quick to become certified and necessary best practices of companies that try to embed innovation in their business.