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Jack Welch once said, "Someone, somewhere has a better idea." In this myth-busting book, the authors reveal that great business ideas do not spring from innate creativity, or necessarily from the brilliant minds of people. Rather, great ideas come to those who are in the habit of looking for great ideas all around them, all the time. Too often, people fall into the trap of thinking that the only worthwhile idea is a thoroughly original one. Idea Hunters know better. They understand that valuable ideas are already out there, waiting to be found - and not just in the usual places.
· Shows how to expand your capacity to find and develop winning business ideas
· Explains why ideas are a critical asset for every manager and professional, not just for those who do "creative"
· Reveals how to seek out and select the ideas that best serve your purposes and goals and define who you are, as a professional
· Offers practical tips on how to master the everyday habits of an Idea Hunter, which include cultivating great conversations
The book is filled with illustrative accounts of successful Idea Hunters and stories from thriving "idea" companies. Warren Buffet, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Mary Kay Ash, Twitter, and Pixar Animation Studios are among the many profiled.
Co-Author Andy Boynton
1. Know your gig. In other words, decide what you’re all about as a professional, and where you want to be heading in your career and projects. Without a concrete sense of purpose and goals, you won’t know what you’re looking for—in the vast jungle of ideas and information. And you’ll be defenseless against the demons of information overload.
2. Don’t let the job, company, or industry define your Hunt for ideas. You want ideas that stand out, and to get them, you have to chart your own course. That means creating your own collection of information and idea sources, different from the sources being tapped by everyone else in your business. Don’t fall victim to the plague of “me too” ideas.
3. Be interested, not just interesting. All of us naturally want to be interesting, but in the Hunt for ideas, being interested in the world around you is of equal or greater importance. Part of being interested is to be careful about the signals you send to idea-bearers, who can be anyone, at any time.
4. Be a “T” rather than a purely “I” professional. The “I” type (think narrow and tight) is deeply versed in a specific area of expertise, while the “T” professional (think extended and broad) has a greater breadth of skills and interests. Both types of professional have much to offer, but “T” people are better at fostering the diverse connections and conversations needed to bring exceptional ideas to the surface.
5. Even if you’re on the right track with an idea, you’ll get run over, if you’re just standing there (to paraphrase Will Rogers). Your ideas are worth little unless they’re in motion, shifting in response to fresh data and conversation, evolving through stages of reflection and prototyping.
Co-Author Bill Fischer 6. Understand that failure isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, you’ll want to build failure into your Hunt for the best ideas, with the prolific use of prototyping (getting your ideas initially into some rough form). The point is to test your ideas as frequently as possible and to learn rapidly, before committing to a product or program.
7. Get the room right. Arrange your physical workspace in ways that will help you collide with and generate useful ideas. For example, store your hot ideas in folders or piles that are visible. Make sure that the books and materials closest at hand are the ones you need for your current projects.
8. Push the Hot Buttons. Link your idea to something that keeps the boss or client up at night. If you can do that, your idea will have a much better chance of getting noticed and winning acceptance.
9. Think compatibility, or “one revolution at a time.” Be ready to explain how your breakthrough idea fits into “the way we do things around here.” An idea that requires too much change in an organization may never see the light of day.
10. Focus on “Try-ability.” Make it easy for people to try out your idea, before buying into it. Think like Apple, which lets people listen to 30-second snippets of music on iTunes before they buy a track or CD. Customers and colleagues are far more likely to sign on if they’re less worried about making a decision they’ll come to regret.
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