Innovation

Have you got a crush on your idea?

Amantha Imber /

So much focus in any innovation process gets placed on the idea, and a really common problem we find is that organisations fall in love with their ideas, rather than their opportunities.

The focus is all about the amazing idea they have developed that is bright, shiny and new.

The problem with falling in love with ideas is that you often fail to see what is wrong with the idea – after all, love is blind.

And even in light of the most compelling evidence, you resist killing it off – because why would you kill something you have fallen in love with?

Falling in love with ideas often leads to thousands if not millions of dollars in wasted resources – and by the time you realise that the idea is not actually that crash hot, no one wants to walk away because so much time and money has already been invested.

Instead, a much more useful approach to have is to fall in love with your opportunities.

Falling in love with opportunities keeps you focused on the task at hand – it becomes purely about finding the best way to solve that opportunity – which means less attachment to any specific idea, and hence, more objectivity around the ideas you do generate.

Have a look at the current projects or problems you are trying to solve, and ask yourself: have I fallen in love with solving this opportunity? Or am I more in love with the idea? And if you answered ‘yes’ to the latter, try to scale back your love to just ‘like’ to allow you to really see the idea in a much more objective way.

Remember to remove those rose-tinted glasses.

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Amantha Imber

Dr Amantha Imber is the founder of innovation consultancy Inventium. Her latest book, The Innovation Formula, tackles the topic of how organisations can create a culture where innovation thrives.

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