Getting to the good idea

March 30th, 2008


Anyone who has ever attended (or run) a special session where the goal is to ignore that pesky thing called reality and just “come up with” fresh new ideas can identify with Tom Fishburne‘s cartoon here.  Like Tom, I once participating in a ideation session that involved bean bags (what is it with the bean bags??), and I admit to some embarrassing outdoor ideation activities, as well.

Companies hold these sessions for good and noble reasons.  But it’s just silly to push a group of overworked folks into a room, take away their Blackberry security binkies, leave them with some paper clips, pocket lint and a game board and say “Now be creative!!” 

Better yet is the organization that creates a constant flow enabling individuals (a) who want to and feel particularly capable of contributing to a conversation (b) to offer their ideas in a quick and easy fashion.  The path most likely to yield fruit is the ongoing conversation, not an “event” marked off on your calendar.

Tom talks a bit about Method’s “wikiwall” in the blog post that accompanied this cartoon; click here for some advice from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales on how to make the most of a company wiki.  And over on, I posted some info last week about Kluster, a site where participants come in and out of conversations based on their desire and ability to contribute.  Every company needs a wiki, Intranet, bulletin board – an outlet by some name – that makes it fun, easy and productive to start and maintain a conversation that bring ideas to life:  reality and all.

And, friends: I’ve started a new daily blog at, offering shorter takes on news and trends of the day. I’d be delighted if you’d take a look.


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