But he attributes the company's fleet-footedness to the decision he made three years ago to bring in a chief operating officer. Johnson presents the answers to these questions and more in his infectious, culturally omnivoracious style, using examples from thinkers in a range of disciplines - from Charles Darwin to Tim Berners-Lee - to provide the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of inspiration.He identifies the five key principles to the genesis of great ideas, from the cultivation of hunches to the importance of connectivity and how best to make use of new technologies. "Coming up with new ideas used to be one of my favorite pastimes," says Warren Schlichting, cofounder of Yucatan Foods, a $3-million company in Santa Monica, Calif. "I simply don't have the energy or the motivation anymore.". For speaking inquiries contact wesn at leigh bureau dot com. The line helped boost the company's sales from $7 million in 1988 to $18 million by 1992. From a visit to the clothing store Old Navy, Levine got a merchandising idea for the gyms: the company logo, emblazoned on canvas, draws customers' attention to high shelves loaded with clothing inventory. (For example, how likely is it that someone will sue if NewMarket creates a site for Howard Stern's fans?) MYTH 3 'If you listen to customers, they'll tell you what to do', What Cameron Kuhn is about to say would be considered heresy in some quarters, where CEOs have come to believe (much to the annoyance of their salespeople) that tagging along with salespeople is a can't-miss strategy for collecting ideas. From the era of the ancient Greek city-states through contemporary political philosophy, the idea of the common good has pointed toward the possibility that certain goods, Given the program's success, Raap took the only logical leap: he junked it. When figuring out how to come up with a game idea, you can iterate on an already-popular game (take a developed idea and tweak it so it feels new and exciting), incorporate innovative technology into old games (AI, VR, etc. But conceding that there's a mystical component to generating ideas doesn't mean you should assume that the process is out of your hands. CIBT's Brad Cary writes down every business idea he has--a habit he developed in business school. Yes, they make it look easy. MYTH 1 'Ideas will just come to me, as they always have'. In fact, it can be downright demoralizing. On the days he comes into the office, he often leaves around 4 and continues to brainstorm at home until he finally falls asleep--with a notebook by his side in case he thinks of something midslumber. Within a few years, that project had evolved into a proprietary system that has enabled CIBT to capture more revenues from four big customers. "Ten got in, and three to four of them were better than average.". Amos, CEO of Mail Boxes Etc., listened intently as a member of the finance and accounting department detailed an idea he had for how Mail Boxes Etc. "Of course, we weren't in the software business at the time, but we decided on the spot that we could do it.". Steven Johnson Where good ideas come from People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" And just try selling anything from batteries to beds over a toll-free line (or the Internet) and you'll find yourself reduced to me-too status. I think its more of a perception than the reality. What the suck index offers is an early-warning system to catch newborn ideas that aren't likely to thrive. If the boss or anyone else should proffer an idea that scores a string of 10s on the suck index--hey, it's nothing personal. The whole experience, Stephenson says, "made us focus on quality issues." As industries consolidate and product cycles shrink, even the best ideas--with patents as their pedigrees--come under assault practically on arrival. uses a scale of minus 2 to 2 for each of 20 criteria, which are weighted to arrive at a total score; Jinwoong, the sporting-goods marketer, uses an "eight-link chain" model for managing decisions about potential new products; the links detail the company's strengths in eight areas, such as distribution and in-store merchandising. So brimming with ideas are some entrepreneurs that they need to make sure they keep track of the inventory that resides in their own brains. MYTH 5 'Getting ideas isn't the problem; implementing them is'. Once you've adjusted your own role to make room for idea gathering--as well as motivated and educated your employees to work with the raw material of ideas--there's one more tool you'll need to join the ranks of the top idea generators: a suck index. "We listen to our customers but not in a traditional sense," says Brad Cary, president of CIBT Inc., a $12-million provider of visa, passport, and other international-travel services, in McLean, Va. "You have to read between the lines. But watch them in action and it becomes clear that they've made explicit trade-offs, with the aim of weaving idea generation into a daily discipline. The six-member group's mandate is to evaluate, track, and refine the ideas that flood into a centralized database--at a rate averaging six a day--through the company's Web site or intranet, or from phone calls, letters, and E-mail. "Ideas are the raw material for solutions, not the solution," says Arthur VanGundy, a professor of communication at the University of Oklahoma. You want to avoid things like "Carey's Cuties," which was overused back when Drew Carey first took over the show. Your most powerful message will come from happy customers, so make sure the ambiance of your club provides a unique experience that will have people wanting to come back as soon as possible. Simple. Who does? How do smart entrepreneurs know where their next idea is coming from? Your employees would be unlikely to doubt you (openly, anyway) if you attributed the idea you cherish most to your fanatical devotion to feng shui, the newly faddish Chinese practice of arranging a room to maximize the flow of energy. The miniature Zen garden on your desk, for instance, won't provide any inspiration if you don't have time to rake it. Penguin Books Australia A Penguin Random House Company. It's that kind of incident that convinces Amos that meetings aren't enough. Silly Putty, for instance, started as a wartime substitute for rubber. Who came up with the moniker Signature Seed? So far, two major new services--including self-service computing kiosks in hotels--have resulted from Amos's formal idea-development process, and nine more are in the wings. At Good Ideas, we create sustainable products to help you create a yard that helps you, and the planet. By clicking subscribe, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Books Australia’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. On the surface, Cameron Kuhn comes perilously close to the stereotypical image of the eccentric entrepreneur. When he got back to the office, he started talking to people in the hallways, one or two at a time, almost shyly bringing out the bottle. But they do respect it. They give it top priority. By recognizing where and how patterns of creativity occur - whether within a school, a software platform or a social movement - he shows how we can make more of our ideas good ones.%%%Where do good ideas come from? "We hope she will become a supplier of herb plants and related products for us," notes Raap. While we know it has been a challenging time for some people with a disability, there have also been some positive changes that have happened. What do the printing press and Apple have in common? But before you can find yourself in the right locale to scout out ideas, you'll likely have to abandon assumptions about where ideas originate, what kind of culture fosters them, even what the best ones look like at birth. Having started nine years ago as a slide-show producer, the company has found itself in one cutthroat industry after another--from systems integration to photo-lab services to Web design, adding hundreds of services in nine different niches. From rain barrels that double as beautiful planters, to glow in the dark products that capture Earth’s natural resources to illuminate your pathways at night — our products help you dominate your dominion with ease! Prices don't exist in a vacuum. Or at least that's how they look at first. The products in this post were updated in May 2018. There were family details, and he'd signed the label," Stephenson says, recalling details of that 1988 night as if it were last week. "For years we'd been looking for ways to pull ourselves out of the commodity market, set ourselves apart," he says. Advertised on daytime TV and pressure sold, funeral plans might seem like a good idea but they frequently aren't argues consumer expert James Walker "You know that time right before you're about to fall asleep?" One of Jinwoong's latest creations, an ungainly two-legged sleeping bag, originated when a New Zealand inventor came to Jinwoong with "a rough prototype," says Reeves. That's a backbreaking burden for any CEO. After all, Stephenson openly admits he can't even remember what kind of wine he was cradling in his hands when the idea that would remake his business lodged itself in his brain. Steven Johnson has spent twenty years immersed in creative industries, was active at the dawn of the internet and has a unique perspective that draws on his fluency in fields ranging from neurobiology to new media. Here are some myths about where good ideas come from and ways to stimulate idea-generation at your company. But for a CEO (or a salesperson, for that matter) to distill a workable idea from what customers say requires much more than merely nodding attentively; the suggestions must be filtered through an ever-more-detailed screen of knowledge about what ideas suit the company. I’m Steven Johnson, author of twelve books, including Enemy of All Mankind, Farsighted, Where Good Ideas Come From, and The Ghost Map. What makes that type of system necessary is the simple fact that if both the CEO and the employees make idea generation a priority, the pipeline can quickly jam up. He developed his own version of a "dash report," a weekly rundown of about six key marketing and finance ratios that tells him how EnviroCheck is faring. Stephenson didn't much notice. I needed to churn out idea after idea. What brainstorming meetings can do is send the message that employee input is valuable. But with lots of ideas, such a phase doesn't render a simple death sentence; after being rejuvenated and reappearing in a slightly rejiggered state, some ideas return to pass with flying colors. idea definition: 1. a suggestion or plan for doing something: 2. an understanding, thought, or picture in your…. Hey, he thought, I can do this at my company--we'll sign our names on our bags of seed corn; we'll make a personal statement about our quality. Here are some myths about where good ideas come from and ways to stimulate idea-generation at your company. And what do we need to know and do to have more of them? Then came the marketing ideas; the company's product tag got a redesign--as did its brochures, followed by its fleet of trucks. Common good, that which benefits society as a whole, in contrast to the private good of individuals and sections of society. Today all 120 employees know the critical target numbers, such as the average gross margin dollar per square inch of catalog space, so those who want to come up with a great new product idea know what their goal should be. Think its more of them `` an explosion of ideas and then sends them on for refining time for who... Beyond what the suck index offers is an early-warning system to catch newborn ideas that are what... Them all, '' says Cary the problem, we create sustainable products to sell,... Of ideas and then sends them on for refining ideas whenever you want to sell popular thinkers explores...: competition Cary writes down every business idea he has -- a habit he in. 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