Why do we have ideas?
I’ve spent years harnessing, crafting and developing ideas created from within highly structured organisations. The ideas come from a wide variety of people: from cleaners to administrators, managers, researchers, technical staff, software engineers and highly innovative doctors and medical and allied health professionals.
I have managed over 10,000 ideas – practical ideas that make the world better for us all. To name but a few, they include:
- a new drug that stops the heart during cardiac surgery;
- a new process that dramatically improves the way an organization works;
- products and services that help the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities;
- ideas that improve our communities and environment;
- software for improving how we manage our health;
- mechanical products that fill customer needs;
- new ideas for fund raising in an ever competitive space; and
- ideas for more effective operation of corporate boards.
This extensive work has put me in the privileged position of a critical observer over the lifetime of many ideas. I have had the amazing opportunity to reflect on and observe the power of ideas for improving our organisations. I have seen highly structured organisations be better and do better, through carefully selecting and developing their ideas with a focus on the right opportunity and results.
I am convinced that ideas are critically important for three reasons. Here, I hope to discuss with you the principal reason. In other blogs we can look at the other two reasons.
The Desire To Be Better, Do Better
Deep within us, I believe there is a common trait. It is the drive to do better.
Based on my experience, I have observed this drive to be one of the key factors in the generation of new ideas.
Kim Brennan, who won a gold medal for Australia in single scull rowing at the Rio 2016 Olympics explained what drove her:
“I was working towards a gold medal but more than that, I was working towards being the best single sculler I could possibly be.”
(Weekend Australian Newspaper, 20 August 2016, p44).
Large, highly structured organisations are hothouses of ideas. They need to create an environment that encourages people to put forward ideas on how to do better. The best ideas need to be identified and developed into processes or products, to deliver the best.
Individuals, organizations’ and communities all strive to be better and do better by using their ideas.
Our desire to do better is interwoven with the generation of new ideas. These cause us to embark on personal, social and business endeavours that help this need. This in turn helps create new ideas.
Ideas are the seeds for growth. Have you ever been in an organization that nurtured and managed the development of ideas?
I’d love to hear your ideas on ideas too, and why you think we generate new ideas – please comment below!