“The role of a creative leader is not to have all of the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel they are valued”

Ken Robinson

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Is there any such thing as a new idea? Do organisations put their staff under too much pressure to come up with ideas, but then fail them when it comes to supporting those ideas to be realised?

We all find inspiration in different places. Some people find their synapses start firing when they're lost in a book or film. Others discover eureka moments whilst relaxing in the bath, lost in a daydream or whilst doing exercise or physical activity. One thing is for sure, whenever we ask people where they get their best inspiration from, few people tell us it’s at their desk. Inspiration can be random and spontaneous, often falling outside of the 9 to 5 working day, so the challenge organisations are increasingly setting themselves is how to create the right conditions for creativity; conditions which provide inspiration and support the initiation of new ideas.

Truly useful ideas don't usually spring out of nowhere, so encouraging people to ‘think outside of the box’ during a brainstorming can never be enough. In truth, few organisations lack ideas. But ideas themselves don’t create value and ideas don’t constitute innovation. An idea is an ingredient, not the end product.

Arguably, if too much emphasis is placed on finding ideas, without the mechanisms in place to be able to turn the best ones into meaningful solutions, all you end up with is innovation theatre. It becomes easier to automatically reject ideas that seem to make the least business sense because they fall outside of the current business model. The best ideas come in response to an identified problem. Perhaps, therefore, the most innovative organisations aren't necessarily any more creative than most others - what sets them apart is how they seek out new problems to solve and have good mechanisms in place to evaluate, validate and progress the best ideas

We thought that for this month’s #BlabChat it would be good to discuss ideas, in particular how organisations can ensure a steady supply of fresh ideas whilst at the same time ensuring that the best ideas are allowed to mature into fully fledged solutions that have impact . . . .

WITH THAT IN MIND, THE QUESTIONS FOR THURSDAY EVENING ARE:

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Remember, label your answers A1, A2, A3, A4 and most importantly, don't forget to use #blabchat when you respond, even if it’s replying to someone else's tweet.

Join us for some thought-provoking chat on Thursday 2nd August from 8pm and tell your friends!

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