Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Idea Are You Proudest Of?

A nice question! It assumes, first of all, that I've had ideas -- more than one, at least! The question came last evening at the end of the first talk that I have given on The Idea Hunter. The audience was a group of 90 senior managers from Hilti, who were at IMD for three days. To be honest, however, it's not a question that I've ever considered before.

In thinking about my response, I believe that it illustrates a lot about a key The Idea Hunter concept, and so I thought that I'd mention it here. The idea that I'm proudest of might in truth not even be my own: it's the recognition that so many big companies take great people and turn them into average performers. I find this supremely offensive, and it was the motivating insight that led us to write the Virtuoso Teams book. Mine or not, I came to this idea relatively late in life, but it has taken on a mission-quality and become, what we call in the book, my gig. Everywhere I look, today, I see examples of this phenomenon, or illustrations of how we might reverse its apparent "inevitability." In The Idea Hunter, we think that the notion of a "gig" is a essential insight into why some people are so good with ideas. They know what to look for; they can't help themselves! One way to think about what your gig might be is to consider the Venn diagram above.

When you are really thoughtful, and introspective, what are you absolutely passionate about? What can you do better than anyone else? And, where is the market for all of this? At the intersection of these three questions is probably your "gig." In my case, it is all about the inexcusable diminishing of human talent that we see so frequently in complex modern organizations. The interesting thing about this is that now that I understand this, I have become so much more energized and effective as an Idea-Hunter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing Präsentation, Bill. We discussed a Lot about your insights :-). Regards Heiko