by Yoel Kluk
“When innovation happens from the top down it tends to be orderly and dumb, when it happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart.” — Curtis Carson, CEO of SRI International
What would an organization look like if it tried to solve problems on the principle that the collective group is smarter than the individual? We keep hearing companies must be faster, stronger, more agile; more technologically advanced than the competition… how about just making sure your company is smarter than the competition?
The problem is that the CEO and upper managers at the apex of the organizational pyramid are expected to be the smartest people in the room, and to always be right. No wonder it is such a pressured job! It must be very lonely to have to have all the right answers all the time. I mean, we all know mid-level employees can get the data and the work done but do they see the big picture? Asking them to evaluate new products, develop strategies should raise an eyebrow right?
Imagine a market in which the currency is your opinion. In this market everyone would start with the same amount of money — let’s say 10,000 Mindcampdollars. The price of each security (idea) is set initially at MC$10.00. The value goes up when a peer invests in the idea but especially when an idea is propelled. This is very interesting because to grow the idea the owners need to actually develop it into solutions (ideas and solutions are not the same thing).
The market is much more than an idea incubator, in this market because the purpose is to collaborate, co-own and develop ideas into solutions, the market itself is the one ruling. This way there is no “idea-killing squad” — also known as committees — in most companies. In a market, introverts have an opportunity to shine with their contributions. It could even harvest the knowledge of retirees, customers and vendors.
The key to the success of a collaboration market like this is to have to right culture; where there is no executive veto on new ideas, where the pyramid is flatten. Jim Lavoie, CEO of Rite Solutions, says that “a Pyramid is a tomb for dead people and is specially seen as a tomb by the Generation Y entering the workforce”. There are 5 things needed in order to create this culture: honesty, parity, hum-bition (humility and ambition), transparency, and a platform for participation.
In conclusion there are 2 big challenges for this market:
- group innovation needs a platform of participation, and
- highest levels of innovation need a culture of mutual relevance.
Yoel Kluk co-presents Collective Genius: Unleashing the creative power of the group