Ideas About Ideas

In my last post about ideation, I discussed the need for organizations to help educators become more conversant in generating ideas. This post extends that thinking to explore the scale of ideas, or those types of ideas that have the potential to provide that necessary “raw material” for significant and wholesale organizational change and improvement. Perhaps these “ideas about ideas” can provide you with perspectives about the qualities and characteristics of ideas that can make a difference for your organization.

Here are my impressions of ideas that make a difference. They are:

Ideas that create an invitation into a curious exploration of what could be. They are simply too irresistible to ignore and as a result, promote wide participation and a focus on curiosity and wonder. They have a very real potential to go viral.

Ideas that spark people’s minds. They serve as a catalyst and serve as that one thing required to propel the organization forward. They unlock a pathway; they contribute to building a new course of action.

Ideas that are open-ended, and potentially ill-defined in such a way as to provide direction but open enough to create additional pathways not yet identified or imagined.

Ideas that are scalable across an organization. They do not languish in a single teacher’s classroom; they can start small but they have the potential to become big and have a wide range of impact at scale.

Ideas that create multiple entry points into an experience. There are a variety of ways for people to engage. Everyone can take a step into the idea in his or her own way.

Ideas that challenge current thinking to the point of creating uncomfortable conditions for the organization. These types of ideas seek to position the organization in a beta condition, and require that the organization becomes comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Ideas that refuse to reinforce and promote the status quo. These are ideas that look to create a new trajectory of experience.

The types of ideas listed above are those that help you transit from "you" to "could be you."  Big, bold, and audacious, these types of ideas are ideas that have the potential to change everything.