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On generating vs. executing ideas

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: On generating vs. executing ideas

One of the big debates in the innovation space is what's more important, is it the generation of the idea, or the execution of the idea? There are complete books written about just about execution, innovation execution, and again there are complete books written about just the generation of the idea. I should know. I've written one of them. Here's my take on it is that I'm definitely more of a creationist and I admit that right up front. Here's why. I think there's a very important reason why I think the generation of the idea is so important.

On generating vs. executing ideas

One of the big debates in the innovation space is what's more important, is it the generation of the idea, or the execution of the idea? There are complete books written about just about execution, innovation execution, and again there are complete books written about just the generation of the idea. I should know. I've written one of them. Here's my take on it is that I'm definitely more of a creationist and I admit that right up front. Here's why. I think there's a very important reason why I think the generation of the idea is so important.

If you had a choice of being great at execution or great at idea generation which would you choose? I think you have to choose idea generation and here's why. If you have just a bunch of mediocre ideas, but you're great at executing them, what do you end up with? Like I said before, you end up with a lot of well-executed mediocre ideas. That's not good. That's not, in the long term, that's just not healthy.

There's something interesting I noticed when I started to think about this question. Why do some ideas seem to get through the pipeline of the company faster than others? I figured it out. The ideas that get through the company the fastest tend to be the best ideas. Why? Think about it. The great ideas are great because everybody knows it. The great ideas tend to get the most money, they put the best people on them, they get the most management attention, and they seem to fly through the pipeline.

That's when it hit me that the mediocre ideas get bogged down in the bureaucracy, the bureaucratic antibodies come in (growls) and they eat it up, the finance people start saying, "Well, this might be a little too risky." People start questioning and challenging mediocre ideas. That happens. I know. I've lived it. I've seen it. I've seen great ideas go through. I've seen mediocre ideas slow down. I've been part of those. Here's the insight. If that's true, then if we got really good at generating ideas, then ideas stand a better chance of getting through the pipeline.

I tell the story sometimes of the time I went to Costa Rica and I watched the famous part where there were turtles. Sea turtles lay their eggs and the eggs hatch, and the little turtles have to run from the beach and try to get into the water before birds and everything come down and eat them. I think this is a great metaphor for ideas. You generate all these ideas, and the poor things are on their own. They're crawling the beach to get through the pipeline before the organization just squashes them. It's the strong ones that get off the beach and into the water and survive.

The same thing is true with ideas so by God, put your energies into learning and creating, learning how to and then creating great ideas. That's going to make you more successful in the long run than just being very good at execution.

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This video is part of

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2340 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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