After last week’s post on moving an idea from concept to success, there was an excellent comment left by Joe Sanchez. His comment led me to think more about the process. Specifically, this part caught my attention:
“Accommodation is the consideration of new ideas and insights that contribute to change actions associated with innovation. Dennis Stauffer’s “Innovation Essentials – Assimilator or Accommodator?” makes the point that ‘To be innovators, we need to resist the urge to just assimilate new ideas into our existing thinking. Rather, we need to be willing to let go of those orthodoxies—even challenge them… The more we learn to accommodate, the more skilled we become at rethinking our thinking, which is arguably the most important innovation skill we can have.’”
The idea of “accommodation” seems like a good one, and I believe it needs to be placed in really two areas of the process. First, it may be essential to do this during the initial idea brainstorming and creation step. Second, as more participants get involved, they also need to “accommodate” their thinking, rather than just assimilate the idea.
There were several other ideas that Joe offered that impacted the process. So, I re-worked it as you can see below.
There are a number of changes and new steps in the process, so let’s review each key element.
Passion and Resistance: At the center, there is a tenuous battle between passion and resistance, and it occurs throughout the idea concept to success process. While this relationship may make ideas better, it takes a stiff backbone to persevere.
The passion of the creator(s) and the participants will breakthrough when the timing and alignment are right in the process. It will depend on the staying power of all involved and how the participants receive the idea.
Position: The starting point: Placing yourself in the right place at the right time can inspire many ideas to sprout. You need to take the time to find the places and silence the interrupting noises.
Accommodation: Putting aside your current thinking and consider the idea, without your personal context, may enable a breakthrough; think of the idea in how others may view the idea or in a completely new way. It is an openness that is necessary.
Together, position and accommodation provide the atmosphere and the perspective to spur ideas and innovative thinking.
Participation and Accommodation: It takes a community, sometimes, to encourage your ideas. Unless it is a solo pursuit, it takes a community to move an idea forward. We need to find our communities, and we need to participate actively.
It also takes a community’s accommodation, as mentioned previously. Making the shift from old way thinking to new way thinking may be challenging, so the right transitional approach is vital. It also may take several attempts to jump over the perception hurdles, getting to a new participant perspective.
Valuation: Any idea goes through a valuation activity, testing its worthiness in whatever appropriate terms. Through this step, the idea is evaluated and, possibly, improved. This step can be painful, sometimes, yet it is essential to move ideas forward and get the best additive advice.
Adoption: Alignment is essential in gaining acceptance of an idea. There are many forces that need to join together at the right moment. These moments turn into momentum. Momentum leads to adoption.
Realization: Few things can deliver a satisfying feeling, a sense of accomplishment, than an idea achieved. It is more than an individual feat; it is a community inhaling success and breathing out energy for the next great concept. It is energizing, motivating, and sustaining. Even in the realization stage, an idea continues to go through a valuation as more people grab on to it. This is okay. The idea is always improving, growing as more and more realize the opportunity it offers.
An added element that Joe pointed out is that, during the Realization stage, others may (or should) adapt and evolve. If the change is market-impacting or life-impacting, then change is required. The example Joe gave was RIM and Apple. The iPhone changed the market, and RIM has not fully adapted to the changes. The consequence: Lost market share.
Innovation will rattle normal, so others may need to adapt in order to thrive through the changes. The reality is that others will need to respond aggressively in order to make-up for the loss in their innovative position.
At some point the cycle begins anew – new ideas, better ideas to begin and create the next innovation lifecycle curve. This is not a one-time process; it is a constant. With each evolution through, we gain value and meaning in what results.
Although the process is a little more complex, a little messy, getting an idea to successful adoption is rarely simple and clean. This may not be the process, but I believe one is necessary.
Thanks to Joe’s feedback, I believe this process is better than before. To a certain degree, we just went through this process in making the process better!
Why spend time on this process? Whether an artist, leader, writer, or business person, we need to determine how to take our inspiration and turn it into tangible results and real adoption.
A special thanks to Joe Sanchez! Check out is blog, Within the Slipstream. The post he mentioned came from Dennis Stauffer, and his blog is Innovator Mindset. For more on #IdeaChat, please visit Blogbrevity to learn more.