Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quality Control

The problem with new ideas is that in their infancy the really really innovative and truly different ideas can look no different than the crazy, hair-brained ideas.

In their infancy, all ideas are fragile.

The trick here is two-fold.

Firstly, how do we create an environment where people feel safe to create these new ideas?

And, how do we create an environment where people can differentiate between the truly innovative and the truly stupid ideas?

Ideally we want to be able to competently answer both these questions; however, these two questions are cannibals - they eat away at each other. Uber-imagination and crazy creativity can lead to both innovation and waste-of-time ideas while pragmatism can act as a kind of quality control; however, things go awry when we place too much emphasis on control and not enough on quality. It's a precarious balancing act that can take on a life of its own.

Either way, we need to suspend our disbelief and knee-jerk skepticism (or even apathy) and allow all ideas to at least germinate. We can decide later if we want to support or squash them.

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