Ideas, including good ones, come naturally to humans. As Robert Tucker said, "The one who has always taken a shower has got a good idea." But good ideas are just the beginning for innovation.
No less power than Joseph Schumpeter put it this way: "Performing all reforms is a task completely different from the invention and a task that also requires totally different talents." In other words, it takes work to transform good ideas into something useful and economical.
Get Ideas From Everywhere
Human beings have naturally good ideas. They will share them with you if you let them go. But if you shoot down or let every new idea you hear, people will stop sharing ideas with you.
Companies that produce a lot of innovation start with ideas. They encourage creative sharing. As Jack Welch recommends, they get all the brain in the game.
They also know that most great ideas do not sound so much at first. Good ideas will be great as people work to shape them and shape them and stretch them into useful shapes.
To get as many ideas as possible, create a climate where people can share ideas. They will not all be good. But some will and what you need. The advantage of getting ideas from all is that you benefit from ideas that you do not have to develop yourself.
Learning from others
Not only do people get a lot and a lot of ideas. Some of them take time to work out the information you would not spend time on. My experience with yogurt is an example.
I love yogurt and my favorite is a fruit-on-bottom. For years I noticed that I had two options. I could eat yogurt down on the fruit. Or I could stand there in the kitchen and mix the fruit and yogurt together by stirring with my spoon.
One day I was in my friend's house and I watched her daughter take yogurt out of the refrigerator and shake it vigorously. "What are you doing?" I asked her.
The girl conceals me that only a teenager can give small-scale adults. "Mix my yogurt." She was politely enough to add the word, "stupid".
What a clever trick! Now I shake my yogurt to mix it. Why did not I think of this? I would probably have identified the problem and shake the solution, but what I did was working fine, so I did not look for anything better.
Look around the innovations that others have created. Ideas that are almost certain to work are the best practices of other companies in the industry. But the Revolutionary Spirit often comes from outside, from an industry that eliminates a regular problem that's new to you. But sometimes, innovations grow from accidents or things that some curious soul gets to notice.
Hmmm, that's interesting
Interesting things happen all the time. And they can become a source of innovation. But someone needs to notice and take the next step.
At the National Institute of Health, like in laboratories around the world, scientists used frog for experimentation and often it is a frog operation. Scientists put the frogs away for the night in water that was filled with bodies that should have made frogs ill.
But the frogs did not get sick. Thousands of scientists for tens of years did not think anything about it.
Then, in 1987, Dr. Michael Zasloff wondered why the frogs, with open wounds and the septic environment, were not sick. I do not know what he said, but I bet there was some variant of "Hmmm, that's interesting." This curiosity led Dr. Zasloff to discover a new type of antibiotic, which he, a Jew, is called with the Hebrew word "Magainins".
The fact is that while everyone gets good ideas, not everyone is good at mocking a coincidence and then doing what is necessary to change it into something worthwhile. Japanese scholars Teruyasu Murakami and Takashi Nishiwaki found that only 5 percent of the people in most organizations are "ideologists". They indicate that 10 per cent are conceptualists and promoters, while 85 per cent are ideals.
It's easy to find the ideologists in your store. They are the ones who always want to find out why something works as it does or test the idea of improving the process. Put them together with mentors and project managers, and they become infinite innovations of innovation. But they will probably not get it right for the first time.
Inventors Do not Know Everything
You would think that someone who came up with a product idea or invention was the best man to predict its use. You must be wrong. Thomas Edison is a good example.
When Thomas Edison introduced his band in 1877, he could think of some use for it. Why could you list the last words of people who were going to die. You could teach spelling. You could make a clock. You could get a dictating machine for your office.
What was not important for Edison was to use the soundtrack to play music. Perhaps it was because he had hearing disturbances, but Edison thought that the duplication of music would be frivolous use of his wonderful invention and its cheaper image.
Others did not think the same way. They liked the idea of using the soundtrack to play music. When they wanted to create an early jukebox that would play music on a jacket, Edison expected. It took him almost twenty years to accept the fact that playing music was a use that matters most to people who matter most to the market.
Do not fall in love with your technique. Do not think people will love what you love. Remember Edison and the audio. Remember Sony.
Sony was sure that the video format of the video device would conquer the market and the world. It did not, in part, because the higher quality of the video offered by Beta was less important for customers and video leasing companies than for longer periods of time on the cassette. Finally, the customer knows.
Customers may not be able to tell you which spiffy new products and services they want, but that's okay. They can tell you what their problems are. They can respond and know the idea you have received for a product or service. And they will find ways to use the product you never thought of.
This afternoon I was in the supermarket. A person near me was using the camera phone to beam a picture of cans to a woman at his home. After sending the image, he put a handset in his ear: "Is that correct?" he asked. He listened and then took the can of the shelf and put it in his basket.
The people who invented the camera for mobile have never imagined all of the people's possibilities. My developer uses him to check out the job without driving to see if the installation is correct. People take amazing pictures in the locker room. They take pictures of vehicle accidents for later use in court. And my favorite, my daughter sends me a picture of my grandchild, on her birthday party two time zones away while a party is in progress.
Customers know best what works for them. It makes one of the best innovation plans easy to get customers to join early.
Give it a try, and soon!
The company, despite the amazing record of innovation in the last century, is the 3M company. William McKnight was appointed assistant bookmaker at 3M in 1907 for princesses the sum of $ 11.55 a week. He traveled to the president in 1929 and served as Chairman of the Board from 1949 to 1966. At that time, he created an innovative culture that made 3M famous.
When I was working to close this piece, I discovered a collection of his words that looked better than anything I could say. Here they are.
"Listen to someone with the original idea no matter how absurd it may seem at first."
"Prompt, not nitpick. Let people drive with an idea."
"If you put jealous people around you, you get a sheep."
"Give it a try and soon! "