Ideas n Innovation

Vijay Govindarajan in his HBR article Innovation is not creativity tries to convey the difference between the two and the impact they have on the business.
One of my potential clients during a discussion said that he and his team believe that every idea is a good idea and must be treated well. They ran a ‘Give an Idea’ campaign and are now sitting on 7000+ ideas. I asked him ‘ What are you going to with so many ideas? Do you have the bandwidth to even look at so many ideas?”He obviously did not have an answer. This is a common scenario in many organizations.
Businesses, as of today focus more on Idea generation. I think this can be counter productive if not well balanced with proper execution and demonstrated results. You may gather a lot of ideas in first go, but if people do not see their ideas being respected, they will never again oblige you. From a business perspective also, an idea is useless is put into action, tested and taken to market.
There are two things that you need to do while asking for Ideas: Ask for ideas that you can use and then use them. This will improve the credibility of Innovation process and the people running it. If you keep doing this repeatedly, the process will create a pull factor for the next generation of ideas.

Anuradha Goyal