Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who makes the best “Idea Parent” for your innovation projects?

In a recent video blog post by Maddock Douglas http://www.maddockdouglas.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1896, Mike Maddock argues that all ideas need a parent to help nurture it and bring it to fruition. However, if the “idea parent” leaves before the end, the idea will surly suffer.

So how do you keep the “idea parent” around to the execution phase? Perhaps the answer it to make sure you use your most passionate and motivated employees as “parents”.

As a product developer with about 7 years experience, I know that I would take it very seriously if I was asked to be the team’s motivational force behind a new product launch. I would also be unlikely to leave the opportunity until I saw it through. I believe my passion and motivation stems from my vision upwards towards a future that is yet to be.

However, upper level managers and executives may not have the same conviction to specific ideas. They have been trained over the years to leave their passion behind and look at the numbers to guide their next steps. “It’s just business” is not something you hear many Generation Y employees saying.

All ideas have their ups and downs during the execution phase. My argument is to make sure you have someone leading the execution whose passion will override any of the daily turmoil and also ensure they are driven to see the concept through to its final stages without jumping ship.
Maybe the best parent for your innovation is a younger generational employee looking upwards towards their future rather than an executive who is looking down from the top of their career.

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