There are some shortcomings in our current collective thinking platforms that are worth to notice:
1) Many of innovation seekers are trying to seek solutions for their so-called challenge/problems through internal channels or external channels like crowd sourcing. In a sense, this is BOXING the situation and the quest is to find that particular key to open the box.
- This BOXING method is subjective and suffers from the observer effect. The true creativity comes when the individuals are allowed to define the box themselves in their own ways. It is valuable to question the question itself and ask what if the described question/challenge/problem is NOT that block to the desired, expansive version of the organization? Many innovations and inventions in human history were derived by asking different questions rather than sticking to the problem/challenge. One example: The 300$ house challenge to bring affordable housing for the world poorest. The intentions were human-focused with a world-wide effect. The challenge could tease the creative mind of an architect, but what if even a 300$ house isn’t affordable? What if we can re-define the housing with another question? What if we can address the poor people with the whole different perspective with less resistant question than 300$ limit? Urban designers may argue that in some slum areas the market price of the land is more than 300$ limit .What if we can be a little more creative,a little more smarter when we describe the case,the challenge,the problem.This BOXING mechanism is worse in crowd sourcing cases because the innovation seekers are not interested to describe the so-called BOX completely and subsequently, the general questions lead to general answers.
2) Another inhibitor to express creativity within organization is the impression that the idea we possess is not shaped yet, it is not enough, so to speak. And the EGO, our old friend stops us to express the underdeveloped idea to the public, and consequently, many new initiatives may die in their infancy. May be this is our personal priority arrangements that inhibit us to shape the inspiration.What if we import Non finito to business and enjoy collaborative creation. Perhaps we also need to import the copyright law of unfinished art to our organizations and let the individuals express their creativity in any shape or form, even if it sounds like “unfinished” and “unformed”?
3) When we shift from Management 1.0 to 2.0, we may encounter problems that were not an issue in management 1.0. Some of these possible concerns are easy to guess :
- One story from innosight explains:” one five-thousand-person company loudly announced that it was seeking ideas from employees. In the first month of its program, it received two hundred submissions. However the company neglected to provide any feedback to employees about their ideas. Not surprisingly, by the program third month, the company received just a couple of submissions.” Sounds familiar? What if we could create a collaborative thinking platform that gets the life from within (idea generators) rather than without (the innovation seekers).
The idea palette is simple in technology term, yet complex in the concept. It is basically one version of the organization’s virtual reality. In other term, it is a collaborative forum where employees are allowed to participate with any virtual personas that express their inner creativity. Inspired from the concept of shared universe and collaborative writing, It is designed to manage the insiders and outsiders (crowd sourcing) to be engaged in smarter ways in the organizations dilemmas.
1) Every individual within organization is bestowed with three AVATAR expressions. The individuals define the nature of their avatar themselves through the profile system .They are not allowed to disclose their identity until the case they are working on is in fruition status. The benefits of AVATAR are multi fold :
- Reducing the fear of failure: Individuals can express their ideas without any concern about their status, their job position and their background. Basically this is the omission of “justification” which can be an impediment in creative endeavors. The vulnerability toward rejection is reduced to minimum. It doesn’t mean they may not be accepted, it means the rejection will not backfire them. So people can continue the imagination process with less concern.
- Reducing the fear of being creative again: Many creative characters of the world failed to create again and they were less welcomed by public after their initial success. The insistence to be as good as we were is the reason and the resistance factor behind this symptom. AVATAR allows us to shoot our ideas without this particular resistance.
- Breaking the boundaries: Individuals are allowed to imagine the organization not only the department they are working but also the whole system. Conventional boundaries are manifested in different terms. For example one marketing individual may be confronted with comments about manufacturing system that “This is not within your job description.” When it comes to gaps in organization that lead to innovation, an “outsider” viewpoint can be valuable. That particular viewpoint of the marketing person that looks at manufacturing from without. The avatar can help the marketer to be courage enough to talk about the gap she/he perceives.
- Bypassing the negative drivers: The creativity is less interfered by individuals’ relationships in avatar method. The participants can perceive that it is the IDEA which is evaluated not they, themselves under scrutiny. In other words, there is less ego conflict.
- Importing Non finitoto business: ideas can be expressed even if it is like a seed of inspiration, even if there is no planning, no data to support. If copyright law gives the right to a photographer the benefits of copy right only by describing their picture-to-be , why not we support individuals with only giving a glimpse of their viewpoint. Perfection can be obtained collectively.
2) The other factor of idea palette is multidimensionality of ideation. It simply means that when there is a focus on innovation on any particular topic, that particular section of the forum can be discussed internally and then it can be opened to public through employee referral system or through web or through wisdom seeking websites. The benefits are multifold:
- Both employees and public are engaged.
- The data which are opened to public are managed through forum in smarter way.
- Idea referral mechanism is a great motivator to engage employees and to let them to be more concerned about innovation.
3) The idea palette can be supplied with a smart tagging system to manage the massive inputs of ideas. As it was mentioned earlier , the efficiency of any market of idea can be related on how the ideas are regarded and how they change the organization. This smart tagging system is an identifier of the individuals who contributed to any thread of the forum ( the copy right holders) . It can also describe the thread , its relation to organization department, the thread status( seeding phase, evolving phase, fruition phase, transformation phase, rebirthing phase).one advantage for this is the ability to save the fallen angels (the ideas which were discussed before but discarded ). When it is their time , we can locate them through the smart tagging system and give them another chance to be discussed.