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Have you ever thought about ideas being ‘dangerous’?
Or that innovation could come out of asking some really ‘dangerous’ questions?
PJ Chan has a really interesting post over at Forbes today entitled “Leadership Lesson: ’Dangerous’ Ideas are the key to Innovation
It’s worth the read.
Apparently there is an annual festival of “Dangerous Ideas.” Without repeating all three paragraphs, I’ll summarize – they do mean dangerous! One of the talks will cover, “A Killer Can Be A Good Neighbor.” The goal of the event is to discuss ideas outside the mainstream, getting people out of their comfort zones and challenged with new ways of thinking. You may respond with “Wow, how cool!” or you could react with a “That’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard in my life!” Your reaction reveals where your thinking lies on the spectrum of open-ness to new ideas.
Later, she summarizes:
In all reality, it is more about the implied danger and less about the actual danger of the idea. Just ask yourself what kind of reaction the word “dangerous” elicited in you. Ideas really have no inherent danger or safety in and of themselves. The only tangible impact comes from what we do with the ideas. Perhaps removing such loaded labels is one way to court innovation and promote idea exchange.
On the contrary, what amazing, wondrous ideas could come if we were to begin an idea session with the most extreme idea – the business equivalent of “A killer can be a good neighbor.” Consider a simple idea like “What if we moved all retail sales to the Internet?” You can see how an idea like this could inspire fear, anger, and frustration in a company with hundreds of stores and thousands of salespeople. But failure to explore or even consider ideas like this has taken a big toll on many businesses – consider JCPenney, Best Buy, and OfficeMax/Office Depot.
As leaders who want to foster innovation in your organizations ask yourself one question: What will I do today to encourage the sharing of “dangerous” ideas, “unspeakable” ideas … or any ideas at all?
What are some ‘unspeakable’ ideas for you or your church?
What ideas are dangerous? (And by dangerous, I don’t just mean that you could lose your job)
Here are a few just off the top of my head:
1. Stop the weekend gathering once a month in favor of families reaching out to other families individually.
2. Stop taking an offering every week, and move all your giving online.
3. Start measuring community involvement/change over class attendance.
4. Cut one major ministry that is attended and loved by many, but isn’t contributing to your mission.
What’s ‘dangerous’ idea should YOU put on the table… not to actually do it, but to start the conversation that will get you to what you really SHOULD be doing?
(Therein lies the innovation!)
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