Are you an “idea monkey?” Or perhaps a “ringleader?” The former refers to those creative people who come up with innovative—sometimes crazy—ideas, and the latter concerns the organized people who get things done.
Organizations need both types of people to execute and implement their big ideas, innovation consultant Michael Maddock told attendees of Drive15, CU Direct Corp.'s lending and marketing conference in Las Vegas.
“Wherever there’s invention and change, there’s a little bit of crazy,” Maddock said. “That’s how change happens.” Idea monkeys are about inspiration, while ringleaders are about empowerment, he added, citing inventive odd couples such as Roy and Walt Disney and the Wright brothers.
Organizations without both personality types can soon find themselves in trouble.
“You need both imagineers and processes that allow you to converge your ideas,” Maddock said. “When you’re out of whack, bad things happen.”
Established industries such as financial services are especially vulnerable to idea monkeys who reside “outside the jar,” he added, referring to people who have no industry experience—and are unencumbered by preconceived notions of what it takes to succeed.
The solution is to be an “insight-driven” company and to realize “B2B is dead, and it’s a B2Me world,” Maddock said.
“Companies must know customers better than they know themselves, and anticipate consumers’ needs. Becoming an insight-driven company requires developing a framework to innovate while managing risk. Maddock advises creating this framework by:
“There’s treasure everywhere,” he said. “You just have to look to find it. Never stop looking for treasure.”