How many ideas should move from selected to implemented?
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Dave Pollard, author of the How to Save the World Weblog, recently added a post with his thoughts on The Medici Effect, the compelling new book by Frans Johansson. Here is what Dave found to be the book’s key message…

Dave Pollard, author of the How to Save the World Weblog, recently added a post with his thoughts on The Medici Effect, the compelling new book by Frans Johansson. Here is what Dave found to be the book’s key message:

“The book’s most important message (is) the need for innovators to be courageous… It takes courage to be an innovator, which is one of the reasons so few great ideas are ever realized in the commercial marketplace. Being courageous means:

  • A willingness to break free from old-paradigm networks which reinforce old thinking
  • A willingness to give up the security (for what it’s worth) of your present job
  • A willingness to fight knee-jerk defenders of the status quo, who will ‘black-hat’ anything new or threatening
  • A willingness to confront the possible social stigma of ‘failure’ and non-conformity
  • The ability to walk away from unsuccessful ‘sunk’ costs and not throw good money after bad
  • The ability to reframe alternatives from risk-averse to risk-accepting
  • The ability to acknowledge your fears and overcome them, and
  • A willingness to follow your heart.”

I have to agree with Dave — this is a compelling message of The Medici Effect. In the chapter I’m now reading, the author is explaining how we all become “locked into” personal, corporate and professional networks of people, each of which have an unspoken orthodoxy of “how things are done around here.” Trying to break out of those networks can be very difficult, because these people will naturally try to convince you to maintain the status quo, and may even fight your efforts to change.

The trick, Johansson says, is to move outside of your networks without alienating them. That isn’t necessarily easy, but it is nonetheless very important — because it’s likely that some members of your present network will become part of your new one. In addition, if you’re successful in implementing an “intersectional” idea, you may eventually resume contact with members of your old network, who have finally “come around” to your way of thinking.

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