Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ideas Built on Other Ideas

833building_blocks Wow, looks like there's a new interesting book out. It's called Borrowing Brilliance. The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others by David Murray. I'm definitely going to buy it. Why?

Well, the review in BusinessWeek triggered me. This book seems to look at ideas, creativity and innovation being sparked by other (older) ideas. I think this point is often overlooked. Your idea has to be brand new to be a good idea. Your invention has to be done all by yourself or else it's not really an invention. This book says: That's not true. Lots of inventions and innovations are sparked by old(er) ideas and innovations.

And it provides six steps to help you apply this fact in your personal practice or in your business. As I understand the first step is: define the problem you want to solve. What I'm hoping is that the book will say: Try to define your problem as a wish. My experience is that looking at a problem can limit the creativity of the people trying to solve it. To get around this don't say: The problem is..., but say: It would be great if 'this and this' would be possible.

What also triggered me about this book is how well it relates to the concepts underlying Web 2.0. Web 2.0 has a lot to do with sharing ideas openly, building on other's ideas, praising others for their ideas, etc.

However, this is also the hard part. If building on ideas of others is good, how do we cultivate and encourage that? We all know employees hate it when someone else takes your ideas extends it and goes off with te success (- even though we like Truman's quote...). I think this can be done. And I hope to tell you how soon.

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