Sometimes at the end of a Brainzooming strategic thinking exercise someone will say the ideas they generated were all old ideas already bouncing around the organization.

If old ideas keep surfacing with no specific resolution, there's a problem standing in the way of the organization creating strategic impact.

The problem isn't with a brainstorming technique, however.

The problem revolves around what does or doesn't happen after an organization generates an idea.

These three questions are vital to troubleshooting this issue:

  1. If an old idea is really a great idea, why hasn't it been implemented already?
  2. If an old idea that keeps coming up is a crappy idea, why hasn't it been publicly killed so people quit bringing it up all the time?
  3. If an old idea is somewhere between being a crappy idea and a great idea, why hasn’t it been adapted to turn it into a great idea – or killed as an idea if there really is no greatness in it?

While I'm a big believer in cultivating leftover ideas for a time when they may make more sense, at some point you need to get on with an old idea that’s really a great idea or say good riddance to repeatedly discussing an old idea that doesn’t warrant implementation.

What do you think of that idea? – Mike Brown


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