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    The process of generating and managing ideas

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    Business Spotlight Audio 5/2021
    Two people talking to one another

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    Perry: And how should leaders manage the process of generating and communicating ideas?

    Dignen: OK, I think there are a couple of things to say here. First, in terms of idea generation, I think, you know, many leaders, many teams are familiar with the process tools to get ideas flowing, things like brainstorming, lateralhier: unkonventionell, Quer-lateral thinking exercises, visualization. You know, wearing De Bono’s hats, that kind of thing, you know, team members wearing different hats, analytical, creative people, systems. All of this forces divergentunterschiedlichdivergent thinking in the room. And kind of little habit techniques, like, you know, “there are no dumb questions”. All of this can force creativity. And I think that’s good for teams, but maybe my one big reflection is that teams today, I don’t think they’re the optimal source of creativity. I think there’s much much more creative power in a diverseverschiedenartig, vielfältigdiverse network, particularly for big decisions where you really need creative thinking. Try involving people in the meeting from outside the team. I mean, there’s one woman, a lady called Susan Scott and her book Fierce Conversations, she advocates to run sth.hier: etw. leitenrunning what she calls “beachball meetings”, where you sit down for 45 minutes and you invite all kinds of people from your network: people from different departments, from different levels, even from customers, even from suppliers, even friends. Just gather a group of diverse people in the room, give them your problem and then just listen to them. And that, time and time again, using it in training sessions, can produce amazingerstaunlich, tollamazing insightErkenntnisinsights, amazing ideas, way beyondweit über ... hinausway beyond the power of an individual team. And then practically, I think, in terms of yourself and communicating around ideas, I think just try changing little things. For example, stop trying to present smart ideas. Stop trying to prove to people that you’re clever. And start presenting dumb ideas — or your ideas as if they’re dumb. And invite people to tell you why your ideas are wrong. I mean, that changes fundamentally the dynamics in the room. It to empower sb.jmdn. stärken, befähigenempowers people. It creates a little bit of fun. And, actually as people begin to critique your idea, it gets your idea tested far better than if you told them from a position of certainty that you’re right. And as people tell you why you’re wrong, the unthinkable happens. They begin to have good ideas. You begin to hear why you are actually wrong and their point of view might, may actually be better. And you all then move forward. So, it’s a bit counterintuitivekontraintuitiv, unlogischcounterintuitive to start going into meetings believing that you’re wrong — and inviting people to tell you you’re stupid — but you know what they say: the best ideas are counterintuitive.

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