After last Saturday’s #IdeaChat, I am amazed by the engaging, inspiring community present. It is an invigorating experience!
Before the dust of the conversation sets and brushes off, a few thoughts linger, and they turn practical. What is the process that takes an idea and moves it to success? We struck at many elements, but I needed to visualize the process. Here is my attempt:
As the idea process is absorbed, each step takes on a certain personality.
- Position: 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. (Inspired by @brainzooming. Read Inspiring Creativity.)
- Passion: There is a passion that arises around ideas, and this is essential in many ways. One way is for good ideas to bubble up, and another way is to give you staying power when barriers arise. Your passion needs to be ignited. Something as simple as the concept of water can uncork your thoughts, unplug whatever may be stopping the flow of ideas. You need to find the center of your passion. (Inspired by @Jabaldaia. Read Water Can Be More than a Precious Commodity)
- Participation: It takes a community, sometimes, to encourage your ideas. Unless it is a solo pursuit, it also takes a community to move an idea forward. We need to find our communities, and we need to participate actively. (Inspired by @blogbrevity. Read IdeaChat framing post.)
- 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. Maybe the water reference is relevant again, constant streams moving things along with the currents facilitating speed.
- 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.
Maybe it is the way I think or my practical nature, but it seems to boil down to a process we engage. It is important, I believe, to think about ideas in terms of a process. In the end, we need to move them forward, especially if ideas are to realize their full potential.
The process view also provides us with an understanding, maybe, of where we need to spend our time and who we need to get involved. There are times for each, and we need to recognize what works for us and for a given idea.
- If we are really good at coming up with ideas but really poor at getting to realization, then we may need to shift where we spend our time. Or, we may need to bring people in to help us with the participation and adoption steps.
- If we are really good at getting ideas in production but are challenged at brainstorming ideas, then we may be need to spend more time positioning ourselves in the right places for inspiration. Another option is we may need to engage people who are a fountain of ideas we can tap into.
- If we are more of a joiner than an instigator, then we need to align ourselves with the creators and the community to foster the momentum of good ideas.
We need to find our place in the process. Our world depends on it. If there something we really need right now, it is creativity, innovation, and exceptional ideas.
In case you missed the subtly in the title, here it is. We need ideas that are moving in that they are stirring our passion. We also need to be moving good ideas forward through a process that enables success. Moving ideas are essential.
Join the conversation. A few questions to get started: What would you add to the idea concept-to-success process? Is there a place in the process where you spend most of your time or add the most value?
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Jon, I enjoyed last Saturday’s #IdeaChat as well. I like your graphic that includes key components of the innovation process / flow. I have two recommendations.
Consider including an “Accomodation” action between “Participation” and “Adoption.” Accomodation is the consideration of new ideas and insights that contribute to change actions associated with innovation.Dennis Stauffer’s “Innovation Essentials – Assimilator or Accommodator?” at http://ht.ly/64DRe 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.”
Per your graphic, the people who “Participate” will need to accomodate insights and learning associated with the “Idea.” This is critical before “Adoption” can be realized. This is perhaps one of the most important pre-requisites for innovation at the personal and organization/enterprise (that includes private, public, and NGO sector entities) levels.
The second recommendation is to consider including an “Assessment” sub-action as part of “Realization.” As you stated, “Realization” “is a community inhaling success and breathing out energy for the next great concept.” An assessment is important to address three potential “Adoption” scenarios: 1) There is no adoption. 2) There is some adoption but not what was projected. 3) The adoption was in line with projections. The “Assessment” should include the identification and validation of lessons learned – what went well; what didn’t go well and what corresponding actions should be undertaken. The identification of these lessons and their *realization* (accomodation) can greatly facilitate another iteration of the same idea concept (depending on the “Adoption” and value realized) and/or “the next great concept.”
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and additions! Your points are well-taken. I like the concept of “Accomodation” in that it facilitates an adjustment in our thinking and, ultimately, an expansion of what is possible.
Assessment is also a good addition… I guess I assumed that it happens in order to get to the Adoption step, but it is really a separate activity. The assessment happens either on an individual, team, or organization basis.
Excellent input… will play around with the diagram so more!