Optimizing Ideation

I’ve a personal mantra that you have to generate a lot of ideas to get a collection of good ones. It’s somewhat of a joke, as I like to believe I have lots of good ideas, but it’s also true. Since systematic creativity isn’t an oxymoron, there are practices we can use to increase the output of ideas, and from this springs the new innovations that will fuel an organization’s continual adaptation. What does it take, and what is Learning & Development’s role?

While it’s more like a continuum, it’s useful to think of two types of idea generation, fast and slow.  One is when we need ideas now, there’s a problem we need to solve or an imperative for a new initiative. Then there’s the background percolation of ideas, where they emerge from the environs as an outgrowth of particular factors. Both can be fostered, and we should think about how that happens.  If we want ideas to grow, we have to prepare the environment and facilitate the process.

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