How to handle new ideas?

Often in companies we always hear about new ideas. If you are brain-storming for an idea there are many ideas tossed around, how do you develop all these ideas? How do you make sure there is no ego conflict of ideas?

Here in this post I have put down my thoughts about new ideas and how one can manage it and develop these ideas in a team.

1. Never criticize: 

It is very important to listen to what the other person has to say. Hear the idea out completely. DO NOT critic it. Not matter what you think of the idea DO NOT put it down. A person must have put in a lot of effort/courage to talk about it. The culture of thinking new ideas is good. If you criticize all the ideas, all the time, he/she will not come up with new ideas anymore.

2. If you can’t appreciate it, improve it: 

This one is my favorite. When you hear to an idea and you don’t like it, most of the time we want to put the idea down. We say “No it is not a good idea”. “It will not work”. “That is a bad idea”. Instead of putting out these negative thoughts, think about why do you think it will not work, and find out for your self how you can address it to make it work. It doesn’t matter if you cannot come up with a solution to fix it, throw it out there, may be someone else will think in the same direction and fix it.

3. Always complement good ideas:

It is important to complement good ideas and good thought flows in a discussion. This helps people to think better. When a persons idea is appreciated he comes up with better ideas.

4. The EGO

This is the worst nightmare of ideas. Most ideas are shot down because of personal egos. The big question is, How do you handle this. i.e. If you have an ego clash with someone in the team and he/she gives a great idea, don’t think about criticizing the idea or ways to put the idea down. Instead detach the idea from the person and imagine the idea being out there. Now develop it! 

 

After all an idea is like a seed, waiting to be nurtured and taken care to become the a big tree one day!

I wished most VCs thought this way 😉

One thought on “How to handle new ideas?”

  1. Nice thoughts and I think very apt especially for many firms in India where innovation is still to be an accepted norm. In my experience, the culture of getting people to think creatively and contribute ideas itself is still missing in the big firms. Your article highlights quite a few reasons why that might be so.

    Empirical evidence on multinational product firms however shows that their problem is on the other end of the spectrum – most often they have too many ideas and not enough resources to fund/work on them. For many of these firms it is their commitment to too many ideas at the same time that actually slows their innovation down – ability to prioritize and ensure that the portfolio is a good mix of minor improvements, major new ideas and simple line extensions is equally important.

    Finally, I believe many get it wrong because so far how many (including me) approach ideas is by generating great ideas and making it work. Instead going at it from the consumer side – look at what consumers need most(not from a solution but a problem to be resolved perspective) and then generate ideas that solve those problems. This will result in much better accepted products and services in the market. Since VCs and the angel community are looking at quick ROI, I believe they will also value this way of idea generation since this caters directly to people’s needs as opposed to a super-cool idea that needs to find consumers to be sold to.

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