James Surowiecki, Wisdom of Crowds
Step 2: Sponsor Ideas
The second step for innovation is for the ideas to be adopted, sponsored and championed by a diverse audience.
The archenemy of a creative idea is an audience who doesn’t perceive it’s true value and the result is that everyone takes the same approach.
‘Herding’ can easily kill off good ideas. It occurs in a conservative environment when the perceived penalty for getting it wrong is higher than the perceived reward for doing something new and different.
Having a narrow audience decide on the value of your idea is as dangerous as having a narrow group of people create your ideas.
Action: Championing and Sponsoring Ideas
- Have a vote amongst a wider audience rather than relying on a committee, or worse one person like the CEO, to make the decision
- Create a way to sample the idea in action and see if it works. Let the users tell you whether it is a good idea or not.
- Share the idea with as many people as possible and get feedback. One approach is the Open Source model where you present the idea in such a way that people will contribute to it and enhance it.
- Package up the idea and see if you can sell it. The Venture Capital market or any other market is a ready-made diverse audience. Any system needs to be able to kill off losers as easily as it promotes the winners.