Most successful entrepreneurial business owners are rarely short of ideas (just the time to explore them fully). Not all ideas are good – the square stone wheel was never going to catch on, but the round wooden one was a big hit. Bingo!
Creative problem solving is a massive business asset and HR should be supporting business with such processes.
In large companies “bad” ideas, including ideas that don’t work out quickly are generally forcefully discouraged, but entrepreneurs often park their original ideas in the hope that there’s a gem yet to be discovered by reframing the problem and solution, or exploring connected ideas. Remember it took Thomas Edison a number of years and many failures before he created a light bulb that worked (he’s said to have failed 10,000 time before it worked but we don’t know for sure).
How can you make ideas that appear in the first instance not to “have legs” to work well for you?
- Watch and listen. Good solutions often start by observing what’s happening. But once your solution is being keep watching and listening to all stakeholders regularly.
- Allow intuition to play a role. Recognise that you will likely need to update your thinking regularly, and sometimes radically, to eventually find your way to success.
- Build to learn. Ideas are abstract. Real versions of the solution have a way of revealing the truth about these things quickly. Experiment and try to create solutions which you can test.
- Don’t flatten an idea at the start. Instead of killing ideas and initiatives outright when they seem problematic, challenge yourself or your team to push further, reframe the problem and solution, or explore adjacencies. It is these very challenges to apparently bad ideas that can end up leading to breakthroughs.
Great ideas are rarely self-evident, you’ll have to work and rework problematic ones. If you do so, eventually a great one may reveal itself.
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