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  • Writer's pictureAcumen Learning

Big Picture: Ideating

After Training Resources


You're sitting in a meeting and someone says, "Now that's a good idea! We should move on that." The meeting ends and nothing happens. Sound all too familiar?

While everyone clamors to innovate and rethink what's possible… it's being confident enough to pull the thread of an opportunity a little further and build so much momentum around an idea that it gets traction - and gets done - that's what sets innovators apart from people with good ideas. Said another way, idea people talk about opportunities… innovators unravel them.

  • Blockbuster: "Rent a lot of movies."

  • Employees: "Got it."

  • Blockbuster: "We're gonna have to let you go."

  • Employees: "Gees. Thanks a lot jerk."

  • Netflix: "Rent a lot of movies through the mail."

  • Employees: "Got it."

  • Unravel… "What about streaming?"

  • Netflix: "Lets do it. Stream a lot of movies."

  • Employees: "Got it."

  • Unravel… "What about streaming our own content?"

  • Netflix: "Brilliant! Let's produce our own shows."

  • Employees: "Got it."

Coming up with the idea to rent movies through the mail wasn't hard at all (I had that idea two years before Netflix). Neither were the ideas to stream video content and produce your own shows… but implementing those innovations is a whole other story. I didn't have a team, I didn't have the resources or the funds, I had no idea how to get started, and, most importantly, I didn't have the courage to start renting DVDs through the mail.

Now, the ideas that you and I come up with may not be as grandiose as a Netflix innovation. Nevertheless; a simple cost saving measure, a tweak to a process, or an improvement in efficiency are important innovations that can help build your career… especially if you rinse and repeat until the day you retire.

Watch this video in your next team meeting and complete the activity…

Acumen in Action™

In your next team meeting watch the video and use your business acumen to explore the following:

  • What's the difference between having a good idea and innovating?

  • What do you think it means to pull the thread of an opportunity?

  • What role does momentum play in innovation?

  • Does it take courage to innovate?

  • How good is our team at coming up with new ideas?

  • How good is our team at implementing new ideas?

  • Does the idea have to be yours in order for you to be an innovator?

  • Does the idea have to be big (like a strategy change) in order for it to be innovative? Talk about the importance of small innovations repeated over and over again.

  • Discuss the The 12 Things That Successfully Convert a Great Idea Into a Reality (Llopis | Forbes | '13). You may want to take turns reading the 12 ideas as a team.

  • In the article Mr. Llopis suggests that not being involved in innovative activities was irresponsible. What do you think he means?

  • How can we become a more innovative team? Capture the ideas on the board.

  • What can we do to unravel these ideas, build some momentum, and get something done?

Seeing the Big Picture

If you and your team have the book Seeing the Big Picture (Greenleaf, 2012) turn to page 88 and read the section on Anticipation & Innovation.


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