Hvordan føres ideer ud i livet?
Vores andet blogindlæg af Rupert Millington tager fat i et centralt tema, når vi taler om innovation, nemlig idéer.
Vi har sikkert alle sammen fået mindst en banebrydende idé i vores liv (hos Scandinavian Executive Institute får vi mindst en i timen, mener vi selv). Vores erfaring er dog, at vi behandler vores idéer meget forskelligt.
Der er ledere, som sørger for, at deres idé lever en beskyttet tilværelse, indtil den er så veludviklet, at den er klar til introduktion på markedet. Det kan der være flere grunde til. En af grundene kan være, at man ikke vil have, at idéen ’dør’ for tidligt, hvis den bliver udsat for den virkelige verden, før den er klar – det er jo trods alt et personligt projekt og derfor et nederlag, hvis idéen ikke får de bedste betingelser for succes.
Der er andre ledere, som siger ”Vores idé skal testes i det element, hvor den skal leve – og det gør vi fra dag 1”. Netop den tilgang er Rupert Millington stor tilhænger af. Du kan læse i hans blogindlæg, hvorfor han er det.
House rules rule!
Af Rupert Millington
One of the most misunderstood concepts in innovation over the last 15 years has been the notion that new ideas need to be developed in a cocoon – protected from the rigours and reality of their host business.
Presumably the logic also suggests that once fully formed, these ideas can then be brought out of their bubble and the business will obligingly change its culture, infrastructure and business models in order to accommodate these exotic and exciting new additions to the family.
Really? If only businesses were that flexible!
Actually, we think a greater danger than killing ideas too soon lies in not shaping them properly in the first place. Wasting time and money developing ideas that are doomed from day one to be rejected by the business like a sub-standard transplant organ for the simple reason that they require it to flex and adapt in ways that make no commercial sense.
“What if our new ideas are subjected to too much commercial reality, and then they get killed early as a result?” is the often-heard worry.
“What if they’re not subjected to enough, and they survive?” is our own worry in return.
The solution lies in understanding and establishing what we call the “House Rules” at the start of a project. By introducing the real-life parameters of what works and what doesn’t early on, this avoids the danger of generating an idea that looks great on paper but in practice gets spat out by the organization later.
One of our clients supplies the retail food industry. They’re immensely successful, they know their market inside out and they have some of the finest customer relationships we’ve ever seen. They have no retail brands of their own, but very recently they asked our advice on whether they should launch one.
On paper, it’s a really good plan: they have the plant, the distribution infrastructure, retail relationships, years of production expertise and a compelling set of business projections. But their decision-making track record is inherently conservative, and our hunch was that no matter how good the numbers looked, the “house rule” of caution would prevail.
Because we made it ok to discuss this reality up front, not only did we save them having to go through the pantomime of developing an idea that would never be approved, they were instead able to launch a joint-venture with a grocery retailer to co-launch a brand.
Less brave than the original idea? Perhaps.
More likely to become a reality? Definitely.
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Vil du gerne læse mere om vores tilgang til innovation i virksomheden og vores toplederuddannelse Executive Management Programme kan du gøre det her.