Ideas Are Not Solutions
"Ideas are an important early part of the problem solving process. They don't represent viable solutions in and of themselves. To translate them into viable and feasible solutions typically requires a fair amount of investigative leg work."
Creative idea generation can be fun, exciting and fulfilling. So it is unsurprising that crowdsourced, sponsored challenges have become popular ways for corporations to tap into the creative energies and capabilities of diverse populations and networks. These group exercises inspire ideas and proposals to address important and complicated problems.
It is important to keep in mind that the ideas these exercises generate only represent an early part of the problem solving process. They may exist only as hypotheses or proposals to solve the actual problem. As with innovation in general, potential solutions require that investigative leg work be done in order to identify real options and alternatives. They need someone to drill down to understand these options, including their development status.
As investigative work is done, ideas frequently morph from the originator's original vision. Executional alternatives also often require multiple iterations and evaluation across a number of technical and business dimensions. In other words, creative outputs trigger further problem solving activities that while not nearly as fun as idea generation, are at least as important (if not more so).
The next time you run a crowdsourcing exercise, consider inviting a technology scout or other technical problem solver to review the creative outputs that it generates. We are well suited to discuss the outputs with our clients to identify and evaluate paths to arrive at viable executional alternatives.
Curious to learn more? Contact me today to discuss your challenge.
"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.