James Surowiecki, Wisdom of Crowds
PROFIT : Most innovation programs only focus on one half of the problem – generating ideas. However, without the fundamental second step of having a diversity of sponsors to bring a range of ideas to life, you may be killing off your best opportunities. Here’s how to include both sides of innovation.
Step 1: Generate Ideas
The starting point for innovation is the idea. And the key to generating ideas is to tap into a diverse audience to generate a diverse range of ideas.
The archenemy of diversity for generating ideas is ‘groupthink’, a term coined by psychologist Irving Janis.
Homogenous groups align more easily than diverse groups. This means they become more dependent on each other, more insulated from outside opinions and they rely on each others judgements to assess decisions.
Whilst this might be desirable for executing tasks, it’s the opposite of what you need to generate ideas.
Action: Idea Generation
To generate ideas:
- Create diverse teams
- Provide external information sources
- Expose people to outside opinions
- Promote discussion and judgements
- Reward different perspectives
To implement do the opposite.