Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Why Talking About the Worst Idea is the Best Idea

Posted by Brad Hall on Jan 14, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Too often we only want to see a polished version of a new idea before we even start to discuss it or make decisions on it.  The problem is by the time the creator of the idea gets to a polished state they’ve already invested their time and energy into it and will try and defend it exactly how they’ve made it.  This mentality is okay to have later on in the process when you’re reviewing an idea before it ships or you invest a lot of money in it to make sure it’s the best it possibly is.  Any other time be it in the very early stages or during development when you’re making trade offs this mentality will just slow you down and can lead to a needlessly killed idea or sub-par idea moving forward.

The best time to talk about ideas is when they aren’t even worth looking at.  An unorganized list that only makes sense to the person that wrote it, random parts collected from around the office taped and stapled together to slightly resemble what the idea is, or a marketing poster with typos improving new ideasand bad formatting.  These are the types of ideas that you should be talking and meeting about.

At this stage in the idea process the essence of the idea has come out but the creator hasn’t fully committed to the execution of it yet and is open to ideas and feedback on how to proceed.  In general the creator of the idea will even be thankful for your advice and feedback.  Usually they will have so many possible ways forward they won’t know where to go and your feedback will give them the jump start needed to go down a path.  It takes more time to look at ideas early in the process when they’re a jumbled mess but in the end it will be beneficial for everyone involved.  You’ll get better and more flushed out ideas down the pipeline and your employees will be happier working on ideas that have a better chance of moving forward.

Topics: Create, innovation, Communicate

Brad Hall

Written by Brad Hall

Brad is Brand Manager at Eureka! Ranch with a true passion for education. As an Innovation Engineering educator, he is not only an executive education instructor, but has also taught Innovation Engineering for more then a few years at a university level while getting his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and while working on his Masters in Education. Brad is infamous in the Innovation Engineering community for being tough on all his students, no matter their age or job title. He routinely provides diversity and a critical eye to teams creating and improving ideas for innovative products, services, and systems Brad is an avid gamer who lives in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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