Great ideas are just rubbish: CT Tips #5

I don’t want to seem controversial, but if you’ve got lots of great ideas, then all you have is a lot of rubbish. Great ideas are useless – all they do is clutter your mind and lull you into a false sense of security that you have plenty of opportunities in reserve. What you actually need are compelling customer propositions that will stimulate growth or differentiated customer experiences that initiate discussion on social networks.

Getting the great ideas is the easy bit. Converting them into these two types of opportunities is the difficult part. How many product ideas don’t deliver on their expectations? These were probably just great ideas that hadn’t been worked up sufficiently.

Working with an insurance company, we ran an Applied Thinking process and initially developed a range of great ideas. Two of these ideas were developed into powerful consumer propositions, and everything else was trashed! If more new ideas were needed, we would fashion a different Focus Statement, and work to create more propositions in that area. Keeping ideas deemed not worthy of executing immediately is like keeping a flat tyre in the boot of your car in case you ever need one. If you have lots of great ideas, the best thing you can do is to dump them as they are just clutter in your thinking.

How did the insurance propositions work out? Well, they added £40 million in new revenues in the first year alone in a flat and tight insurance market. A good job well done!

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