Go Idea Hunting

29 November, 2014 Innovation ,

Have you ever admired geniuses like Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, or even Steve Jobs?

A genius is often thought of as a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability and creativity, typically associated with new ideas and the achievement of new advances in a particular domain.

Still, great ideas don’t just come from a geniuses. Brilliance is not even required. Rather, ideas exist everywhere, all around us. Finding them isn’t about being a genius. It’s more about curiosity, agility and consciously hunting for them. It’s about being an Idea Hunter.


The Idea Hunter

Ideas are the lifeblood of organizations, says Bill Fischer and Andy Boynton, the authors of The Idea Hunter. How to find the best ideas and make them happen.

So what’s a great idea? A great idea is an idea that will progress a situation, make things simpler, faster, cheeper and/or better. A great idea doesn’t have to be a revolution. It can simply add value to an existing situation.

The Idea Hunter explains why ideas are a critical asset for every manager and professional, not just those who do “creative”. It shows how to expand your capacity to find and develop winning business ideas.

The book also reveals the useful mnemonic I-D-E-A: Interest — use your intellectual curiosity; Diversity, get ideas from a mix of sources, not just in the usual places; Exercise — build your idea muscles by always immersing yourself in new ideas and by surrounding yourself with others who do the same; Agile — be prepared to rethink, change, and adapt your ideas; how to seek out and select the ideas that best serve your purposes and goals — and define who you are, as a professional.

Successful Idea Hunters have been around for ages. One example from the book is Walt Disney, who built Disneyland in California based on inspiration from Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“When Walt Disney got the notion of building a great family theme park, he did not go looking for ideas in all the usual places. In his day, the product of choice among that line was the thrill-ride amusement park – a seedy place with bad food and unfriendly employees. This was not Disney’s vision of a welcoming environment that would tap into the dreams of children and adults alike, so he went on a search (he was always on the trail of ideas). His quest led him all the way to Tivoli Gardens, a clean and orderly park in Copenhagen, as one chronicler had put it, ‘lush flowers, tame rides” and a festive family atmosphere’… He was making notes al the time – about the lights, the chairs, the seats and the food.”

Then, it’s not just about the great ideas, or stealing with pride. It’s also about strategy and great execution. Still, far to many organizations have become stuck in the box and just keep on doing what they are doing, instead of searching for outside inspiration.

When was the last time you went idea hunting?



The Idea Hunter, Andy Boynton and Bill Fischer, Wiley, 2011