Operationalising Ideas

Thinkers50, 28 December 2017

Ideas are important, as without ideas there can be no progress. But not all ideas are good or make a positive contribution to business and society. Some ideas may be interesting – and possibly intellectually stimulating – but are of no other value when it comes to informing organisational strategy and transformational change. The potential value of ideas is only realised when they are applied and turned into operational reality. However, turning ideas into operational reality remains a challenge for most organisations, and a source of frustration for many CEOs and executive teams. Why is this the case, and why has it remained so for some time?

Ideas don’t have to be new to be of potential value. In fact many of the most powerful ideas are not new. Quality circles, customer centricity and horizontal integration, for example, have been around for some time. Old ideas are also often reinvented or repurposed – albeit with a different ‘spin’. So how can CEOs and other senior leaders increase the chances of applying – new and old – ideas for the benefit of their organisation? We would argue that while ideas are important, creating the conditions for their successful application is actually more important.

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