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Creative Idea Implementation Plan (v1.0)

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by Jeffrey Baumgartner

There are a number of reasons why creative ideas fail to become innovations. Sometimes it is because the idea, which seems brilliant in concept, is flawed in application. More often, the problem is that organizations invest in creative ideation initiatives (often called “innovation initiatives”), such as brainstorming events, idea management, ideas campaigns and the like, but fail to invest in implementing the most creative ideas that come from those initiatives.

Indeed, you have probably experienced this typical scenario: a company invests in generating ideas via brainstorming events that involve a lot of highly paid managers and researchers. A number of promising creative ideas are generated. Sometimes business plans are developed. Sometimes prototypes are built. Sometimes not. But, at some point between the identification of a promising idea and beginning to implement that idea, the idea is killed.

There are many reasons why creative ideas are killed, however, almost all of them have to do with risk. Implementing a new idea is perceived as risky and people in the company do not wish to undertake that risk. So, the idea is killed. Needless-to-say, investing in a creative idea generation initiative in order to generate creative ideas you will never implement is an expensive method of accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Unwillingness to implement creative ideas is not only a weakness with companies, individuals have the same problem. Imagine a young person applying for a job with Levi Strauss & Co and having the idea to write her CV (résumé in US English) on a pair of Levis jeans and sending it to her perspective employer. Such a creative approach to applying for a job would almost certainly stand out and grab the attention of the hiring person. It could very well result in an interview – particularly if the company values creativity as Levi Strauss does. Or it could result in the CV imprinted jeans being promptly rubbished as ridiculous (note: I have no idea how Levi Strauss would react in this scenario). In my experience, most people who had such a creative idea would be unwilling to risk carrying it out.

Such a waste of creative time, energy and money does no one any good and makes the world a more boring place than it could be.

In order to help individuals and organizations more rationally plan the implementation of creative ideas, I have looked at why ideas are not implemented (at the organizational level and individual level) and have drawn up a Creative Idea Implementation Plan (CIIP). You can even download an Creative Idea Implementation Plan template and accompanying cash-flow template (see link at the end of the article).

via Blogging Innovation.


Written by Kees Winkel

June 10, 2011 at 10:56

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