Archive for the ‘Big Idea Development’ Category

Clarifying Faith in the Workplace

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Planting Seeds Of Faith in the WorkplaceRecently, I have seen a resurgence in the topic of Faith in the Workplace. Just this week I participated in a training session with Sandi Krakowski, social media guru, and founder of A Real Change International, Inc. Over the past year or so, I have watched Sandi bring her faith to the forefront of her business.

Entrepreneur Magazine recently invited Sandi to become a columnist for the online edition of their publication and address the idea of faith in the workplace.

Related: Why Faith Belongs In Your Workplace

Another business guru, Mia Davies, recently shared in a video broadcast how she “Gave her business away”. In the YouTube video (no longer available), she describes how she changed the focus of her business to be more in line with what God wants for her.

Typically, when someone mentions the term faith in the workplace, it is generally understood that they mean “Faith in God”. (In full disclosure, I have complete faith in the existence of God. Though I do have a Judeo-Christian background, my understanding of God and spiritual concepts continues to grow with age.)

Could it be that by corralling “faith” into the “faith in God” understanding alone, we could be missing out on a much broader experience of this amazing power? Whoa, hold up. I’m not suggesting a diminished value of faith in God; by no means. In all fairness, the concept of faith does seem to originate in the Judeo-Christian religions. But is faith a purely religious concept?

Could faith in the workplace have additional value and meaning? I believe in the power of faith as taught in the Judeo-Christian teachings, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the substance of your idea, invention, unrealized business, book, or whatever you want to create. It begins as faith. In faith, you act. You act with the conviction of one who knows the imagined will be made real.

This well known Biblical quote does not attach the definition of faith to faith in any particular thing or person, God or otherwise. So is faith a religious concept or a power that is available to everyone to be used in all areas of their life? Yes.

Faith in the workplace can include our faith in God, and includes much, much more:

  • Faith in the power of God to bless and multiply your business.
  • Faith in your ideas, that they will become a reality.
  • Faith in your employees, that they will live up to your expectations.
  • Even faith that our clients will continue to pay us on time so we can continue to build our business.

Remember, faith is based on things we can not see. The idea in your head for a new product or service requires faith to bring it to fruition. Creating a team that will take your business into the future requires faith. Where there was no team, faith built it and built it.

While I believe that faith has its origins in God, its power expands beyond the religious or spiritual avenues. It is a power that can be applied in all areas of our life. When we need the power to move toward the unseen, toward the intangible, faith provides this power.

So the next time someone starts to talk about faith in the workplace, ask yourself, “How am I already exhibiting faith in the workplace and how can I foster more faith?”

“Faith is the head chemist of the mind.” Napoleon Hill

8 Ways You Can Become a Copycat Success

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Image of a copycat thinking outside the box.The great and wise Solomon once said, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” and he meant nothing, not even new ideas.

“What do you mean?” you might say. “That can’t be right. I see new ideas around me all the time. On top of that, I’ve got to make my own new ideas if I want to be a success. You mean my ideas aren’t new? What am I going to do now?”

You Can Become a Copycat Success

I know, I know, your mom, your dad, your teachers, all told you as a child, not to copy someone else’s work. They told you it was bad to copy, right? And you believed them? I know I did. In fact for years, as a young artist, I struggled to come up with new art ideas.

Then one day I learned it’s OK to be a copycat. That’s right. I discovered that even the best artists use copied images, photos, and many other bits and pieces from other people. They then modify, adjust, and massage these elements into their own product.

Need another example? The self-improvement industry is a good one. Do you think that all the contemporary self-improvement gurus are coming up with all new ideas, methods, systems? I used to think that.

Then I started reading authors from the early 20th century. Authors like Napoleon Hill, one of the founding fathers of success philosophy, Dale Carnegie, Og Mandino, and more.

Today, when you read most any modern self-improvement author, trainer, or speaker, you’ll likely recognize seeds of Hill’s writings in their own work. What teachers like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield do is gather wisdom from the ages and from around the world, organize it into books, package it, and present the ideas to a contemporary audience.

What does this mean to you and me? It means there’s nothing new. It means we don’t have to stress and strain to come up with that are 100% new.

Creating Something Meaningful By Copying

You don’t have to make something new, to make something meaningful and valuable. You can take an old idea, dress it up with your own experience, knowledge, wisdom, and share it with the world, and they’ll buy it. Why? Because an idea that seems new today is simply new to the people in this generation, people who are encountering things that they haven’t previously encountered. Each generation has new people looking for help solving their problems.

So how do you become a good copycat? How do you overcome that childhood law not to copy? To copy or not to copy, that is the question.

OK. Before we go on any further, let me say, I support copyright laws.

I am a staunch supporter of copyright, patent, and trademark laws. I don’t like, nor condone piracy for any reason, unless it’s Johnny Depp, in The Pirates of the Caribbean.

In fact, I was glad to see the Google Books attempt to copy books without permission to remain unsuccessful. I know how much work goes into the creation of a book.

I believe if you work hard to create something, you have a right to protect it or give it away for free, it’s completely your choice. I’m not suggesting taking someone’s book, changing the author’s name, and saying you wrote the book. I’m not saying copy someone’s programming code, repackage it, and sell it as your own. I believe that’s a crime, and always should be, unless you (Google Books) have paid for the license or right to do so.

8 Secrets to Becoming a Successful Copycat

  1. Keep track of what inspires you. A good copycat will always have a scrapbook full of images, sketches, stories, and other ideas.
  2. Let the good in and good will come out. Look at the masters in your area of interest. Their execution of ideas will inspire your own ideas. Your own ideas may come out as a combination of multiple ideas, which in their bits and pieces, were created by others.
  3. Avoid recreating the wheel. If you like the packaging design of a product, why struggle to create your own? If you like the cover of a book, its colors, font style, image placement, why struggle to create something without inspiration.
  4. Follow the experts. This is similar to number two. But, back to books. If you need to design a book cover for your latest novel or non-fiction, and you can’t afford to hire a designer, check out the bestseller list. It’s likely books on that list were designed by professional designers. You’ll find plenty of ideas for your own book cover.
  5. When possible, hire an expert. I’m in the process of publishing the fourth book in a series for an author. The previous publisher used the same artist on the first three books. Now, I’d like to save some money and not have to hire an artist, however, saving the money is not worth breaking the integrity of the series. Sometimes an expert is worth the price.
  6. Copy ideas, not words. The wonderful thing about the current copyright laws is that they don’t protect ideas. For example; you can’t copy the idea of a book about Google Glass. You can only copyright the compilation of the author’s words. You can’t copyright or protect the idea of writing a book, then creating an audio version, then turning it into a speech, and so on. If you need ideas that can help you grow your business, look at what other businesses are successfully doing to grow. Then, copy like crazy.
  7. Be respectful and follow the current laws. As a copycat, always follow the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be respectful, give credit where credit is due, and always follow the law.
  8. Form a partnership. Do you see a product you’d like to have in your business? Contact the creator of that product and pursue a partnership. Forming a win-win partnership may save you a lot of time, money, and frustration trying to duplicate their system, process, or idea.

Look around. Everywhere you look, you’ll see copycaters big and small. FedEx just copied the US Postal Service and is now offering their own Flat Rate Shipping. Not a new idea.

Blockbuster tried to copy Netflix and get into the DVD by mail, but, too late to the game, they failed. It wasn’t a new idea for them. Redbox is copied by Imozi in offering movies from vending machines. There are currently multiple players in the vending space. Not a new idea.

Water from a machine. Not a new idea. Discount shopping warehouses. Not a new idea. These ideas have multiple players in the space. Each player is putting their own little spin on the idea. Each one is looking at the other saying, “How can we copy them? How can we do it better? How can we capture market share?”

In fact, according to the CNBC special program, The Costco Craze, Inside the Warehouse Giant, Costco has employees that go into competitor’s stores to track and send real-time pricing and product information back to the home office. They call it market research. I call it copycatting.

Don’t wait for a new idea to spring to mind. Go out and look for an idea to copy. Write a different book on the same topic with a unique spin. Make your own hamburger with a unique sauce. Make ribs without the bone.

Good Copycats Make Better Ribs

On a recent Shark Tank, “Bubbas Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs” entrepreneur, Al “Bubba” Davis presented his boneless rib idea.

Bar-B-Que ribs are not a new idea. Many people restaurants make and serve great Bar-B-Que ribs. Other restaurants in Bubba’s area serve ribs. But, one day Bubba said to himself, “What if we do something different with our ribs?” So he did. He took the bones out of the ribs and had a hit. Just a little twist to an old idea and you have a “Why didn’t I think of that moment?”

When you’re a good copycat, your big idea may come from simply adding a twist to the product or service that is already available.


This article is presented solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, or other professional services advice. While best efforts have been used in preparing this article, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness of use for a particular purpose. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information or programs contained herein. You should seek the services of a competent professional before beginning any copycat program.

10 Myths About Big Ideas

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Image about the 10 myths of big ideas.What is it that allows some people to seem to have a steady flow of Big Ideas while others seem to live in a desert devoid of creativity? It is the way men and women think. There are those that think they can, and those that think they can not. Both end up being right in the outcome. Do you want to break the chains that may be keeping you from Big Ideas? Then begin by casting off these 10 Myths About Big Ideas.

The Dime Myth About Big Ideas

How many times have you heard or even said to yourself or someone else, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” I myself have made this statement entirely too many times. Even as someone who values ideas, and prides himself as being able to come up with great Big Ideas, I’ve used this statement.

But it’s a myth. Ideas are not cheap. Good ideas, even when they seem to just pop out of the air, can not be had for a dime a dozen. The problem with this myth is that it lessens the value of a good idea. It immediately decreases the potential of the imaginator and his idea.

People have a tendency to devalue things that aren’t paid for with cold, hard cash or blood, sweat, and tears. When the farmer stands at the edge of his furrowed field, a bag of seed at his feet, the value of that bag is equal to the value of his harvest. Without the seed of an idea, there is no harvest.

Begin to cherish and protect your ideas. Most importantly, plant them in fertile earth and prepare for the harvest.

The Harebrained Myth About Big Ideas

“Here comes another harebrained idea.” You’ve heard it before. You’ve probably used the term yourself when referring to a friend’s or colleague’s idea. Merriam-Webster defines harebrained as foolish, absurd, or ridiculous.

Many Big Ideas initially appear harebrained, at first glance. We’ve all heard of the Pet Rock, Tupperware, Post-It Notes, and Velcro. Big Ideas that weren’t initially seen as brilliant, that later became runaway best sellers or household names.

In order to overcome this myth, which is responsible for killing many good ideas, we need to embrace the brilliance of every idea. Only when ideas are welcomed with open arms can they turn into Big Ideas. By labeling an idea or an imaginator as harebrained, we can shut down the benefits embodied within the seed of the idea.

The Lack Myth About Big Ideas

Many people believe there is a limited supply of ideas. You may have heard of the statement made by Charles H. Duell, who was the Commissioner of the US patent office in 1899, “everything that can be invented has been invented.” Though this statement itself turns out to be a myth, according to, it shows up regularly in the conversation surrounding ideas and the promotion of creative thinking.

I’ve heard many times, “I can’t think of any Big Ideas.” “I’m not an idea person.” Statements like this suggest a limited quantity of available ideas, and that only other people can come up with good ideas. Personally, I don’t believe there is any shortage of good ideas, only of people willing to take a chance on an idea and bring it to life. All you have to do is spend some time online to see a continuous flow of ideas that will change the world. Some of these Big Ideas, like 3D printing, will change how we all do things on an everyday level.

The Uniqueness Myth About Big Ideas

Many imaginators think that their idea is unique, that they can safely put it away to bring to life at a later date. I’ve learned that this is not true. I’ve learned that hard way that an idea not acted upon will fly on-and-on until someone takes action upon it.

Two personal examples include an idea I had for a round refrigerator that would be a boon to men who don’t want to reach into the back of the refrigerator to find out what there is to eat. My idea would turn the refrigerator shelving into organized Lazy Susans, making it easy to access every item in the refrigerator.

Years later, while thumbing through a magazine, I saw my idea in full color. Someone else had created it.

Another example is connected to the iPhone. I owned one of the first iPhones on the market. At the time, I often listened to music using the phone’s built-in speaker. One day, while listening to music, I noticed that if I held my hand in the right positing the volume seemed to increase. I got in the habit of holding the phone in my open palm with a portion of my hand curved, allowing the sound to bounce back toward me instead of away from me.

Sometime later, I discovered a new project on Kickstarter run by a couple of guys who had discovered the same thing and actually created a solution with the same Big Idea. This confirmed to me that you can’t sit on an idea. They don’t like it. Eventually, they’ll get up and move to someone who will take them seriously.

The Good as It Gets Myth About Big Ideas

Picture of man with big ideas.Unfortunately, This is a myth by which many creative people and businesses live. It’s in the same family as “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This myth has actually been the death of many a once-thriving business.

Take Blockbuster, for example. They had a chain of video rental stores that was unbeatable in selection. They put many small video stores out of business. Their idea was to “make physical recordings of movies and games available for people to rent in our store.” Blockbuster saw the store idea and said we can do it bigger and better. They got into the “come into our store” rental business. And stopped there.

When DVDs became popular, Blockbuster stayed with the store idea. “Let’s make our customers come to us.” Then someone said, “We can do better. We can take our store to them.” Netflix was born. When Netflix was created, Blockbuster could have taken advantage of the same services, the internet, and the US Postal Service. But they didn’t. They stuck with their good idea. In the end, the belief that their idea was as good as it was going to get killed the giant retailer.

The Do It Later Myth About Big Ideas

This myth is the brother of The Uniqueness Myth. Putting off a good idea until later can cost an individual or business millions in lost revenue. Many ideas are good for only a short time. If not acted upon right away, new technology can come along and make them obsolete.

Kodak is an example of “The Do It Later Myth”. Kodak said “We’ll get into digital later if it proves valuable. People have been using film for decades. They won’t change. Film is so much better than digital.” Where is Kodak today? They tried to get in later, but it was too difficult. Other companies had already invested in the new digital technology for years and their costs were down as a result. Kodak came in with inferior products at a higher cost.

Beware, many ideas have a limited lifespan. If you wait too long, their value dissipates and even disappears.

The Simplicity Myth About Big Ideas

This myth says, “Ideas are easy to come up with. Anybody can do it. Why even try.” True, some very good ideas have seemed to come out of nowhere. But many ideas have been developed with hard, focused effort. At first sight, the ideas we see around us seem very simple. Have you ever said, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

This myth also devalues the creative person. While creativity is a gift all have received, it is still of great value. Some people seem to be more able to come up with good ideas. Some see more inclined to turn the ideas into reality. Thomas Edison, for example, came up with a great many ideas. Some of his inventions originated in his mind, others came from colleagues and other sources. It was through hard work, collaboration, and persistence that Thomas Edison became one of the world’s greatest imaginators.

The Thief Myth About Big Ideas

This myth is not all make-believe. Piracy is alive and well today. China continues to knockoff ideas left and right despite patents. This is very discouraging to inventors. It can be very deadly to a business to have the market flooded with imitations. But the real danger of this myth is that thinking that “Someone will steal my idea” has kept many ideas from even being attempted.

I’ve met authors who didn’t write because they didn’t want someone to steal their book idea. Screenwriters that didn’t write the screenplay because someone would steal their movie idea. People who live by this myth are actually stealing from themselves. They steal the opportunity the might have benefited from had they brought their idea to fruition.

Someone may be able to steal some of your ideas, but they can’t steal your passion. They can’t steal your knowledge. No one can steal your level of commitment.

The Someone Else’s Idea Myth About Big Ideas

“Somebody already thought of that. There’s nothing I can do to make it better.” Many of the products we use today were originally conceptualized first by a different inventor. This myth is the opposite of the “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.”

While the mousetrap analogy is a bit oversimplified, many inventors have been successful by reinventing ideas in a better way. Google wasn’t the first search engine. But they did it better, and the world beats a path to their door every day. Apple wasn’t the first personal computer. But they did it better, and the world beats a path to their door.

If you know you can do it better, you probably can. If your idea is just to do it differently, you may not succeed unless your “difference” makes your idea more cost-efficient. The Japanese didn’t originally make better cars, their ideas weren’t better, but they became competitive because they learned how to do it differently.

These ideas at first seemed simple. “Let’s make a computer, too.” “Let’s make cars to sell to America.” The development of these better ideas requires many more difficult ideas to be created. Within the tiny acorn lies the mighty oak.

The Can’t Be Done Myth About Big Ideas

This is probably one of the most encountered myths of all. “Great idea, but it can’t be done.” “We’d like to do that, but it can’t be done.” How many times have you said, “It can’t be done”? This myth has been busted so many times, I’m amazed we still use these words.

Can’t sail around the world. Done. Can’t go to the moon. Done. Can’t jump across the Grand Canyon. Done. Can’t go to Mars. I imagine they’ll get that done too. (This article was written before Elon Musk came onto the scene with his mission to Mars idea.)

Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Which one do you want to be right about? Do you think you can write a best selling novel? You can. Do you think you can turn your idea into the Next Big Idea? You can. Do you think you can go into space as a space tourist? You can do that too.

Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” For all the ideas that people have had and said “can’t be done”, there have been others who have said, “How can it be done?” Which one will you choose to be?

3D Printing for Small Business

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Mojo 3D printer for small business.A few years ago I noticed several 3D Printer projects on the crowd funding site Kickstarter. The concept was interesting to me at the time and I could see a lot of potential for 3D printing for small business applications. Other interests soon took the place of this new technology in my mind and I forgot all about it. That is until I came across the infomercial for a well known investment publication promoting the the opportunity to invest in a new technology that is cutting edge.

After doing some research on a story mentioned in the infomercial, I discovered that this new technology is 3D printing. The infomercial went on to describe how a young man had used this techno to manufacture a fully functioning gun using blueprints found on the internet. Now this particular article is not an investment article, I’m not encouraging you to invest in 3D printing stocks. I’m just hoping to set the stage for the small business owner who may have heard of 3D printing but thinks it’s a thing of the future.

3D Printing for Small Business at UPS Stores

The future has arrived. In fact, 3D printing for small business has already arrived in your local Staples and UPS Store. While researching this article, I was dumbfounded to discover that not only is 3D printing a real, affordable and accessible technology. Today, you can have a 3D print made while you’re picking up your business mail.

According to UPS, the company has moved forward with 3D printing after polling some of its small business customers. The poll revealed significant interest among small business owners for 3D printing services.

3D Printing Can Change Your Business

When the technology first came out it was a novelty. I remember seeing people create rough figurines and game pieces. Today, that has all changed. Recently I viewed a CBS news store about how a boy gets prosthetic hand made by 3-D printer. This popular YouTube video has received over 1.5 million since being posted in October, 2013.

3D printing will be the technology that changes 2014 for individuals, investors, and small businesses, worldwide. Imagine how you to can print a hand for a loved one or a friend from a machine that costs a fraction of the price of a professionally manufactured prosthetic.

Often a new technology will be limited in access to the general public and small business owners due to the high cost of entry. I remember when DVD players, then later blu-ray players first came on the market. In 2006, consumers had to pay $1000 for the privilege of owning this new technology, just so they could watch movies. In 1997, a 42” flat screen plasma TV would set you back $15,000.

In the recent Special Issue of Make: magazine, I was stunned to see that you could purchase a 3D printer for as little as $300. This is the price of a good quality ink jet or laser printer today. I’m thinking of donating one to my local school.

Back in the early days of my publishing business, we spent over $5000 for a color laser printer for our business without thinking about it. It enabled us to self publish thousands of books before Print on Demand (POD) was even popular.

The New Print On Demand for Small Businesses

While 3D printing is still in its infancy, it doesn’t have the same barrier to entry that other game changing technology has had in the past. Imagine printing parts and products on demand as the book publishing industry has been doing. POD has changed the publishing industry. I believe that 3D POD will do the same for manufacturing.

Do you want to take your business to the next level? Do you have product ideas you’d like to bring to market but can afford the costs of making multiple prototypes? Now you can save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by making your own prototypes and even salable products.

Whether you’re in the custom vehicle industry, make one of a kind motorcycles or cars, a 3D printer can take your concepts from the drawing board straight into the shop. For the restoration business, parts once difficult or impossible to find can now be printed in your office.

Think you’ve got time to catch up? In 2009, RedEye produces the world’s first full-scale custom chopper 3D prototype using FDM. Using technology developed by Stratasys Ltd., a full-scale was easily printed. Just imagine what you can do with this technology in your business. A quick view of the Stratasys YouTube channel revealed 3D Guitars, parts for Oreck vacuum cleaners, even truck fenders.

Do you remember when you could finally purchase a desktop printer and end trips to the copy center? Well, you can do it again. Stratasys has created a desktop printer that looks and functions as easily as your laser or ink jet printer. The Mojo is a plug and play 3D printer for your small business. The Mojo 3D Printer allows you to print professional 3D models right at your desk for as little as $189 per month on a business equipment lease from Purple Platypus.

3D POD will enable companies to create new products in real time. Imagine if your client loves your product, but would like to make a small change so that it would work better with their business. Now you can customize it in your computer and print out a custom version just for them. Talk about customer service.

The Sky is Your Limit with 3D Printing for Small Business

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The small business owner can find a 3D printer to meet any need. Whether your idea is for novelty items for your online or retail business, or you want to create precision parts for manufacturing, now you can. From bringing ideas to life to full-scale production, 3D printing has changed the way things will be made from now on.

What’s in your computer that you haven’t been able to afford to bring to life? What’s in your sketch book that you’ve dreamed of making but the cost of molds and prototypes made it impossible? How can you change your business, your family, your community, the world with your imagination? If you can imagine it, you can create it with 3D printing.

Big Idea Development – The First Step

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes.” Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.Image of idea development team.

The individual who has no ideas can find that life is much easier lived. Without ideas, there is nothing to do. Without ideas there are no risks to take. Without ideas, the likelihood of failure is much less.

When you know things, you begin to have ideas, and when you begin to have ideas, things begin to happen. People begin to respond to you. They either respond with excitement, roll their eyes in disbelief, or begin to fear you.

So why, then, do so many of us pursue idea development? Why do we insist on creating new ideas? Or, if we have no good ideas, why do we try to seek them out?

Idea development is a natural process in humanity. Everything we own, use, discard, began as an idea. The computer I’m writing on was once an idea that was scoffed at, and yet, it’s creator persisted to pursue the idea.

How did he do that? What is the process of taking a spark of inspiration and turning it into a physical object like a computer, our a masterpiece of sound that is the symphony? How does the individual or business with no ideas come up with and development valuable ideas?

Idea Development – Step One

Positive Attitude – The right attitude can make or break any idea development process. A positive attitude is the energy that drives creativity. Successful idea development relies on creative thinking. Without it, you will spend a lot of time at the drawing board.

Negative Attitude – Negative thinking has its place in the development process. However, when negative energy is brought in at the creation stage it can defeat the entire process.

It is essential to create and maintain a positive attitude in the initial stages. If you are creating in a group, set ground rules that permit acceptance of all ideas. Reserve the negative idea analysis for a separate time, once you’ve closed any creative sessions.

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Entering negative analysis too early in the game can lead to the defeat of good ideas and even prevent them from entering the field. The premature loss of a good idea on the alter of negative thinking can have expensive consequences.

Good ideas are like diamonds. You won’t often find them lying about on the surface of the ground. You may have to dig for them. This process is eased by keeping the process positive, allowing the introduction of any idea, however ridicules or seemingly impossible. These impossible ideas often lead to winning ideas that may be just the diamond you have been looking for.

Idea Development Rule Number One

All ideas are to be received with open arms.

Positive Encouragement of an Idea.

  • How can we do this?
  • What if we added, expanded, improved, enhanced, etc. the original idea?
  • And then?

Ideas should be received, recorded, enhanced if possible with related ideas, and left for further evaluation and analysis at a later date.

The creative process is a compounding process, easily grown through encouragement, or defeated through premature negative analysis.

Many ideas suffer a premature death when a member of the group, a friend or family member, or even the person who came up with the idea, prematurely states, “That’s impossible. That can’t be done. Nobody’s ever done that before.”

Even in the later stages of idea development, the negative analysis stage, these comments are destructive.

Negative Analysis of an Idea

  • Is this idea worth the investment of time and money?
  • Is there someone already doing this better and cheaper?
  • Are there any technology barriers to this idea?
  • Do we have the staff or support to bring this idea to life?

You will notice the difference in these two types of questions; positive and negative. The proper negative analysis of an idea validates the viability of the idea, instead of just knocking it down because its value is not yet seen. It determines if this is the right time for this particular idea. The purpose of this type of analysis is to identify any red flags or barriers to fulfilling the idea.

When done separately from the idea creation stage, this process allows the individual, company, or group to fairly evaluate individual ideas without dampening the creative process. Data can be analyzed in this process, along with supporting market research, to help determine whether it is practical to pursue the idea, or shelve it for development at a later date.

Using this simple, positive first, negative second, process will continue to foster idea development in the future. When group members know their ideas will be listened to, no matter how amazing, ridiculous, or imaginative they are, they will continue to look for and grow ideas until the next creative session. Far too many ideas have been flushed down the drain through the improper use and timing of negative analysis.

Give your team or group permission to put all their creative juices to work, without fear of rejection or criticism, and you will open the doors to a flood of creative energy.