Why do so many new ideas fail? Or don’t even get tried? One big reason is that people don’t take the time to evaluate properly. They love ideating, but they take idea evaluation for granted and don’t take the time to do it properly. They think they are finished and either just vote, or worse, jump into action right away. Usually these ideas fail to deliver good results or don’t even get tried, left to accumulate on the “back burner” (also known as “idea purgatory”).
Now field research* backs up hands on experience showing how skilful evaluation can contribute much more to the creative process than merely making judgments among ideas. High quality open-minded conversation is the key. When people listen carefully, holding their judgment, while others explain their initial idea selections, full group understanding increases and (1) significantly improves the quality of the ideas being evaluated while they are being evaluated, (2) ignites new and different ideas to emerge, and (3) results in group consensus and joint ownership of superior final selections. Above all they avoid voting, which leads to winners and losers and low commitment to implement.
This Week’s MinSight:
Next chance you get, lead your group to:
• View differences in perception as constructive.
• Listen carefully to what others say.
• Explain exactly what their words mean to them.
• Don’t argue. Evolve words that bridge small differences.
• Give unusual options a good hearing.
• Not let higher status or more vocal people swing the group.
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