Thinking Inside the Box: Creating an Environment that Nurtures Good Ideas

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When the world gets more challenging – fewer resources, more competition – you need new ideas to move it forward.

The problem is, when it comes to getting the ideas out of the minds of the people in your organization, you may be your own worst enemy.

Ideas happen inside the minds of individuals. And there may be more good ideas inside the minds of your employees than at the top of the organization. It’s not the wisdom of the company that will come up with something truly creative or innovative for your business, it’s the wisdom of someone in the company.

When you canvas your employees for ideas for improvement, how many do you receive? How many of them are truly innovative? At least one from every employee? A few? None?

You may be missing out on untapped potential for improvement in your business simply because your people are scared – scared of what others will think, scared they’ll get it “wrong.”

When Harvard’s Francesca Gino asked 1,000 people if they worked in companies that encouraged nonconformity, 900 of them said no. In most companies, suggesting new ideas that have the potential to disrupt “the way we do things around here” is not just discouraged, it’s more often punished.

The mere presence of other people has been consistently shown to depress creative ideas. Groups tend to rush too quickly to consensus. The most vocal rally around expert leaders and punish the “troublemakers” who disagree. Risky and unfamiliar ideas are squashed in the name of efficiency and practicality.

How can we do a better job of creating an environment in which good ideas are nurtured?

In “Thinking Inside the Box: Creating an Environment that Nurtures Good Ideas,” you will learn practical steps that you can implement in your business immediately.



Image: Annette Kendall

Annette Kendall

Assistant Teaching Professor - Entrepreneurship, Department of ManagementDirector, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business





Nicole Radziwill

Nicole Radziwill

Senior Vice President of Quality & Strategy, ULTRANAUTS
Fellow, American Society of Quality

Editor, Software Quality Professional







Donald Ratner

Donald Rattner

Architect, author and educator, principal of Donald M. Rattner, Architect






Jonah Sachs


Jonah Sachs

Author, speaker and viral marketing pioneer  







Dave Spence


Dave Spence

Founder and CEO
Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging







Creating an Environment that Nurtures Good Ideas



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