Sparking Ideas

Contributed by Dayna Neumann

What happens when you gather a group of people from disparate disciplines to debate a common issue?

Maybe a few fireworks.  Definitely education.  Guaranteed progress.

Enter Idea Festival.  This transformational event brings together great minds from all areas of business, government, the arts, literature, etc. for three days of innovative thinking.  One of the many fabulous presentations was titled “Sales and the Brain”.  Hosted by Patrick Renvoise, the author of “Neuro Marketing: Understanding the “Buy Buttons” in Your Customer’s Brain”, this event captivated us on many levels.  One of the challenges Patrick posed to leadership in the audience was to ask  your employees to complete this statement, “Our company is the only company that….”  So we took Patrick’s advice and the results were fantastic.

Last week, our five member executive team was asked to complete the statement, “FetterGroup is the only company that….”  With each person  approaching the topic from their area of discipline – finance, marketing, sales, operations, IT – we created the perfect mash-up of ideas.

The process has set us on a path of consensus building, while maintaining our individual voices.  We have more work to do but the exercise sparked a level of participation and introspection we don’t always enjoy.

From Ted Hagler, EVP Operations, FetterGroup – October 2, 2011

“Dayna,

What a great meeting that you lead us through yesterday!

I realize that I am often too focused looking in and not enough looking outside of our four walls.  I appreciate how you help me and others to see more.  I also appreciate how you let me interject my thoughts and ideas and find ways to integrate them into working ideas.

I was taught that IDEAS are what separate us from the masses.

The next step is to take your idea and form a THEORY.

That theory must then be turned into an understood EXPLANATION.

Once understood a PLAN must be made.

Then a DECISION must be made upon that plan.

From that plan there must be ACTION, carried out by people.

That action from all those teams creates IMPLEMENTATION.

Implementation then creates RESULTS.

Results can be proven and MEASURABLE.

The above steps are what turn and idea / theory into a proven process.

None of this work will be easy, but all of it worthwhile.

I appreciate this visioning process and how it will shape us into a company that has an implicit, distinct, plan for the future.

Thanks again,

Ted Hagler, Jr.”

Try this with your teams and watch the sparks fly.  You will definitely ignite ideas along the way.

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