Ideas power business. Ideas power relationships. Ideas power creativity. Ideas are the currency of the future. But ideas can’t just live in your mind. They need to be expressed, shared, put into the world. Every person has thousands of them. Good ones. Not so good ones. Brilliant ones. Silly ones. But here’s the thing about ideas. Pretty much nothing happens with them if you don’t share them.
Smart companies love idea. They know their most important asset is their people. And their people’s most important currency is their ideas. The challenge is, how to corral those ideas, how to collect them, grow them, nourish them, target them and unleash them into the enterprise, the community, the marketplace.
All future-focused organizations (read: any organization that has a pittance of a chance of flourishing) must, yes MUST, provide an incubator, a lab, a team, a mechanism, to invite, to encourage, to nurture its people’s ideas, their creativity, the undaunted power of their imagination. But not only do we need to collect and nurture these ideas, we need to unleash them into a questioning audience where they may resound with hilarity from “smart” people, people with authority, people who are threatened, people educated “beyond their intelligence.” And that’s OK. After all, ideas are hypotheses, tests, experiments. Ideas are the seeds of the future, ideas that grow and succeed were often, usually, silly, preposterous, “out there.”
Of course, not every idea pans out. But that’s no reason not to push your ideas out there. Here’s one. The #Ford Nucleon was a concept car developed by Ford Motor Company in 1957 that would run on nuclear power. That’s right, powered by a small nuclear reactor in the back. Back then, nuclear tech was new and we thought it would be compact and affordable, and become the primary energy source in America.
If your organization has no innovation lab, no incubator team, no grass roots ideators, make it your mission to change that. Do it today. No one can really stop you from starting that. Grab a fellow innovator (a human) and start listing your ideas. Good ones, bad ones (these have the most potential), thoughtful ones, silly ones, random ones, upside down ones. Then put those ideas into the world (your team, your leadership, your world).
You are just asking the world if your idea’s time has come. Trust me. There’s so many, so many. And most often, because we hesitate, because we’re fearful, these ideas poke their head up, but then just crawl back into their hole and die.
As Victor Hugo said, “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”
Related: What Professionals Do