Which idea is the best? Mine, of course! Why is it the best? Because it’s mine. Unfortunately, even though we don’t like to admit it, we’re all biased, and that’s how most ideas are chosen. Ironically, those precious ideas that I call “mine” really aren’t the best most of the time.
Innovation flows from change and knowledge. However, no matter how much you may try, and how brilliant you are, you can’t detect all of the change, and you don’t possess all of the knowledge! For the best ideas, be brave enough to look outside of yourself!
Great ideas for innovation come from four places:
First, there is ME. Your mind is an idea factory. You will have ideas, both good and bad, and when you do, capture them in a journal (like Field Notes) or mobile app (like Evernote). Then, use a proven method like 30 Minute Innovation to cash in. But don’t stop there. There are three other sources of ideas to explore!
Second, there is WE. Innovation is a team sport. Collaboration is one of the richest and best sources of ideas. Your team can generate dozens or even hundreds of ideas in a short period of time, especially with an experienced facilitator.
Third there is INSIDE. This means looking beyond yourself, and even your team, to engage others within your organization for new knowledge and ideas. You may have to climb some silos, but the reward will be worth the effort.
Last, there is OUTSIDE. It’s a big world out there, and your contacts and partners can and will help you build something amazingly innovative.
If you are serious about innovation, then seriously, look outside of yourself!
Here’s a post from Fast Company where Anheuser-Busch shows how it’s done: