May 2012

Innovation Requires Both Ideas And Action

2014-08-24T15:46:35+00:00 Categories: SandBlog, think|Tags: , , , , , |

Ideas have been getting a bad rap lately.

Some say the lack of innovation within organizations isn’t because of a lack of ideas, rather a lack of action. There are too many ideas and not enough implementors.

But, ideas need champions to implement them. Just the same way seeds need farmers.

A popular recommendation is: Stop generating ideas and start taking action. Stop the brainstorming and get to work. To return to my farm comparison, that would be like declaring:

Since crop production (innovation) is down
we need more farmers (execution)
and fewer seeds (ideas).

But that doesn’t work. We’d end up with a bunch of hungry farmers standing in cropless fields.

Fact is, we need both.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the pair. One can’t get along without the other.

We ‘get’ that a seed isn’t a plant. We should understand an idea isn’t a plan. Seed (and ideas) take time, patience, pruning, and weeding to bear fruit.

And, brainstorming is for more than idea generation; it is also a solution-finding process. We meet for more than creating ideas; brainstorming and strategy sessions help us choose the right idea to properly solve the problem or grow the business. Which seed is right for the soil you have? For the amount of water you have access to? What is right for the crop you want to produce?

Next time you run into someone bashing ideas and strictly touting action… Remember, it isn’t one or the other. To be innovative, we need to be good at both idea generation and idea execution.

This article was originally published on the MarketingProf’s DailyFix blog.

January 2011

September 2010