This is the time to celebrate transformation and new beginnings. Our society is orbiting around the Economy of Ideas. To be successful in this new age, a company needs to adapt quickly and take advantage of all opportunities. Can your organization turn ideas into value faster than the competition? In this article we will discuss the value of ideas.
The business realm has always been a tough and competitive place. In recent times, the game has only became harder. With the advancement of technology, consumers’ expectations have raised. Today, making incremental changes as well as coming up with novel solutions is key. Customers expect that your products will make their better and easier. They want personalized and seamless services. That’s why innovation is no longer a buzzword.
Any company that wants to stay afloat needs to innovate. But bringing novel solutions to the table is not an easy job. Effort and resources will be spent and compromises will be made. Before all that though, you need an idea. In fact, you’ll probably need a dozen or more. In the world of entrepreneurs and startups, a common belief is often stated: Many say that ideas are worth nothing – what truly matters is the execution.
Let’s take this statement with a grain of salt but recognize that it speaks some truth. For every good idea that you might have, there must be a number of people around the world already working on it. And this is not to discourage you. Yet, the reality is that we are all staring at the same horizon. More often than not, multiple teams are chasing the same concept at the same time. And despite the number of attempts, just one or a few take the cake. To back this logic even more, we can think about some modern-day examples. Google was not the first search engine, Microsoft didn’t come up with the graphical OS and Apple didn’t invent the phone. But they were the best at doing their job. Therefore it is safe to say that execution matters.
At this point of the discussion, many could be thinking that it’s incredibly difficult to bring novel solutions to market. While this reasoning is to some degree valid, it can also lead one into innovation’s greatest trap. The novelty of an idea isn’t fundamental to determining its success. Ideas don’t require an unprecedented foundation to be recognized as innovative. What ensures an idea’s take-off is employing a clear innovation strategy. The companies that thrive are the ones able to improve concepts and clearly understand the challenges and opportunities of an idea. Innovation is simultaneously an art and a science, but it’s science that generates the factual value of ideas.
Overcoming the misconception that the only effective ideas are the disruptive ones is the first step into allowing yourself to venture. Don’t carry the pressure of having to come up with the unthinkable. This will put a strain on your creativity, hindering the ideation process. Be free of any expectations. Innovation is not just for giants like Amazon and Netflix. While it is true that they have more resources, any business no matter the size can leverage innovation tools. It all boils down to creating an organizational culture of sharing ideas and having a process for developing them together.
This is the moment to ask yourself what system needs to be put in place in order to make your company’s innovation approach successful. A part of the solution is employing an idea management software. That’s because ideas are worth nothing if they’re just hidden inside your head. Good ideas need to be shared and brought to life.
All parts of a business are based on a systematic process. It becomes crucial then to have a tool to determine the value of an idea. Some companies rush to create a product without consulting with their employees. Often, they end up with something that nobody wants. By creating a culture of idea sharing, you enable the full potential of your team. Collectively, they know best what works and what doesn’t.
Most of the time, good ideas come from the most unexpected corners of the business. But functional and geographical boundaries make it hard for employees to work together. Making innovation collaborative in your organization will increase the chances of unveiling good opportunities.
As discussed above, ideas are all about execution. In a complex world, there are rarely products based on just one kind of expertise. Developing a complete solution requires the integration of multiple sets of skills. By encouraging cross-collaboration, the whole company can freely facilitate the innovation efforts. People from different departments can offer their input to create synergistic and qualitative ideas. This process gives employees a feeling of autonomy and ownership of ideas and accomplishments. And at the same time, the company will be able to make more accurate predictions. For example, how much an idea will cost to implement or what impact it might have.
Some might argue that, by itself, an idea doesn’t hold much value. But under a holistic approach, it becomes obvious that ideas can be worth a lot more than one can predict. A good idea can put your team on an entirely different trajectory. That action might one day save the future of your company or represent an important source of growth. Unfortunately, businesses are sometimes overlooking this aspect. They might be very good at collecting insights from their employees, but then no action is taken. And when ideas have nowhere to go, they die. Setting a piece of software in place for managing ideas means that you ensure their evaluation and execution.
The power and value of ideas lays in your ability to capture, grow and bring them to life. A great idea without execution has no value. But a decent one with good execution is most likely going to generate some profit. Ideas are doorways, because they can open up new understandings. Ideas are bridges, because they can link the unconnected. To thrive in this highly competitive environment they are your lifeblood.
Approach innovation systematically and involve everyone in your company in the process. Encourage your team to share their thoughts and develop clever concepts. Keep experimenting and soon you’ll be the one to move the needle in the market.
Jakob Storjohann is the CEO of Ideanote, a SaaS company that has developed a simple and result-driven platform to work with ideas. Along with the rest of the Ideanote team, Jakob redefines everyday innovation and helps businesses turn ideas into real value.
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