The Idea Map

Ideas for generating even greater business value and social impact are absolutely everywhere. I am certainly interested in helping great ideas become a reality, but I am especially interested in new and novel ideas that generate transformational change. 

At my core I am interested in challenging the status-quo (in a good way) and making awesome things happen. I want us all to play a different game - certainly the world needs us to.

To help position the work I do, I identified (with my Partners at The Holos Group) the Idea Map for plotting all ideas that may be generated for tackling 'complex problems'.

Idea Map

The two key polarities of the Idea Map are:

  1. the Time/Context polarity (the horizontal plane of the Idea Map)
    • Current Reality versus Future Reality
  2. The Mindset/Approach polarity (thee vertical plane of the Idea Map)
    • Same Thinking versus Different Thinking

The combination of these two polarities provide four different ways of considering, engaging with, and tackling for tackling a 'complex problem'.

  1. Just Play The Game - adopt 'common' ideas that everyone else is also considering or implementing;
  2. lay the Game Better - seek best practice (or become best practice) and try and 'get ahead of the pack';
  3. Play The Game Differently - seek innovative or novel ways of thinking about the tackling a 'tricky problem', but continue to consider it within the dominant paradigm; and
  4. Play A Different Game - decide that the dominant paradigm for tackling a tackling a 'tricky problem' is fundamentally flawed, throw it out and change the rules of the game completely.

None of these four 'games' is inherently better than the next, until the issue or opportunity at hand becomes 'complex'.  Like a 'wicked problem' the 'complex problem' cannot be solved quickly or with a  'one size fits all' solution.  Ideas generated to address 'complex problems' are often multi-faceted, inter-dependent and iteratively generated in formulation and implementation.

As a consequence, the ideas I work with are nearly always generated from a future-to-now oriented (hence Future Reality) - the degrees of freedom available to explore different perspectives and ideas is greater in the future than in the present. Also, they nearly always generated from systematically challenging already known and accepted paradigms in an attempt to break our collective tendency to try and solve new problems by currently known logic. In combining these two principles we can play a different game in generating and literately implementing awesome ideas. 

My personal experience is this: ideas generated from within the Just Play The Game 'game' are denser and less flexible because they are increasingly weighed down from expectation. However, the more the idea generation process focuses on yet to be considered future realities or yet to be identified ways of thinking the lighter, more malleable and more inspirational an idea becomes. This is the space I like to work in the most.