Generating Ideas Idea Generation is important because it enables you to expand your range of ideas beyond your current range of thinking. Ambiguity and global / mega changes are the foundations for great ideas – the skill of the leader is to encourage the organization in generating ideas and bringing opportunities to the boardroom. Choose idea generation when… The competitive landscape is changing: global economic shifts; retirement of baby boomers; employment & promotion of Generation Y; and increasing spending power of Generation Z Are you keeping your customers and attracting new ones? Are you enthusing your employees: making them feel relevant and important to the organization? Are you lowering risk thresholds and encouraging people to ‘have a go’? Are you developing new products / services based on what the market wants / is going to want? Do you have small, quick, low-intrusion feedback loops to track stakeholder sentiment? Are you addressing internal politics where decisions are based on personal interest rather than corporate benefit? Are your senior people ‘leaders’ or ‘managers’? Do you have the right kind of culture in the organization to enable this kind of transformation? Is there evidence that you have the right framework to support new thinking? Ideas as a process Intrapreneurship can be akin to the Rubik’s Cube: in order to achieve ‘the ideal’ (e.g. all 9 sides of the cube being correctly in place), we must be prepared to disrupt the ‘ideal’ of one side in order to reconstruct, rebuild and renew – this dismantling of the cube is where we encourage a culture of generating ideas and acting upon them. If the first lesson is to have a vision (all sides completed), then the second lesson would be to have a process – and intrapreneurship is a process for drawing ideas, developing them, and transforming them into reality. The intrapreneur is a disruptor – their natural inclination will be to challenge the status quo – whether this is over the big stuff, or the small stuff… they will want to know why or why not. There are clear boundaries with the cube – six sides, eight corners, twelve sides… six colours all in their place. Organizations have self-imposed boundaries (hierarchies, formal and informal authorities, budgets, systems, processes, personal agenda, etc.) – and so the intrapreneur’s task is to support the leader’s vision. Are you encouraging disruption and innovation in your enterprise? Questions to ask your organization about generating ideas (source: Neil Fogarty) How do you define innovation? Have you been involved in changing corporate culture and what were the successes / failures of it? How innovative do you think your current workforce is? What mindsets, qualities, or talents have you found to characterise the top innovators in the organisation? What are your current metrics associated with innovation? What does the process of innovation look like in the organisation at the moment? Is there a structure to it? How do you currently deal with the ‘innovation blockers’ – and where do these people tend to sit in the organisation? How will you deal with people looking to fail as they push the boundaries of what they do? If you were recruiting a new innovation leader, what would their traits be? What are your current intrapreneurial ventures? What role does the customer play in this strategy? How involved / visible will you be in this? How do you expect people to react to this? Do you have a network of innovation catalysts / champions in the organisation? Do you have a workspace / sandbox / laboratory for people to develop ideas? 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Our Open Workshops can be found here. Click here to enquire about our interactive workshops and how we can facilitate idea generation and innovation in your organization.