At IdeaScale, the employees like to encourage an atmosphere of continuous learning about innovation by hosting book clubs that relate to our industry. Earlier this year, we read Adam Grant’s Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World. The book came to our attention, because one of our prospects had read the book and was convinced that they needed an open and transparent system for sharing ideas. Naturally, we decided that any book that could galvanize someone like that is one that we needed to read, as well.
We took about a month to read it (although some of us read it in less time) and we each came away with some thoughts about how to encourage original thought and nurture innovators within an organization. Here are just some of the ties that we saw:
Being Creative Encourages Better Idea Evaluation. This principle was one that surprised us and made us think perhaps all judges should be required to first submit at least one idea before they evaluate any ideas.
The Best Ideas Will Arrive at the End. Lots of customers get nervous when the end of their campaign is drawing near and they still don’t have that many new ideas. Adam Grant presents the idea of strategic procrastination wherein creators don’t just dump new ideas out, they take time to consider and contemplate them. Aligning yourself to one idea too early on shuts down the possibility that you will consider and reconsider and perhaps stumble across something totally novel.
Someone Can Play the Role of “Objector.” Sometimes it makes it easier to avoid groupthink and unified belief structures if someone is assigned the role of being contrary. Maybe it would be best if there was a moderator who simply went around and commented against the grain of everyone else.