Why Is Innovative Business Idea Important?
I am writing here about the need for new business ideas as part of a corporate culture rather than the personal level. There is the story of a man who jumped off the top of a skyscraper to commit suicide. As he passed the third floor window he was heard to shout: ‘So far, so good’.
Most organisations do not feel they need new ideas because things are going very well. They may be right. At the same time, complacency is the biggest enemy of progress or growth – even if the complacency is justified. At the other end of the spectrum there are many organisations who claim: ‘We do not need new ideas because we already have all the new ideas we can handle.’ Sometimes this claim is justified, but more often it is a powerful protection against new ideas. You can never have too many ideas when the best ones prevail over the weak. You can indeed have too many ideas – if none of them are very powerful.
A lot of lip service is paid to creativity because it is seen as needed and fashionable. At the same time it is very hard for an organisation to admit that it has need for new ideas. Once you admit that, then you have to search for the new idea. You admit that there is a ‘treasure’ out there, but you have no idea where to find that treasure. This position is too uncomfortable for most executives to hold. You need to have everything under control – the possibility of an important new idea is not under control.
There is a feeling in many industries, such as retail and motors, that new ideas come from years of experience in the field. They arise from combination of all that experience with the new technology. Unfortunately, by definition this excludes ideas that challenge traditional thinking. Two thousand years ago China was far ahead of the West in science and technology: it had rockets and gunpowder. Had China continued on the same course, China today would easily be the dominant power in the world. So what happened?
A similar thing is happening in the West today, where the excellence of computers and telecommunications means that many organisations are starting to believe that you only need to collect information, and that the business analysis will then do your thinking for you vibrating screen. The information will determine your decisions.
The notion that information is enough stops progress as surely as it was halted in China through neglect of the possibility system ore beneficiation. Ideas are possibilities. It is clear that new ideas are needed all the time, just as financial control and production efficiency are needed all the time. It is also possible to look at specific situations where new ideas are even more necessary.