We now know that ideas generation is a valuable asset. And ideally, you should employ this ideas generator in-house. That way, you’ll have full control in-house. But it’s almost unheard of for an ideas generator to be a full-time employee of any organisation. So what’s the solution then?…
The best ideas generators are usually those who have “walked” the creative path, having experience in all the different specialisations of the creative industry. This candidate need not have any direct expertise in your industry, or specialty of your business. That’s not important. What’s more important is that this candidate is able to soak up the skills and specialisations like a knowledge sponge. And most important of all, he or she has the ability of “looking in from the outside” of your organisation. Believe me, this is a very uncommon skill. Most business owners would think that they have that ability themselves. They think they know everything there is to know about customer perception on themselves… Believe me, you don’t know half the story of what others think of your organisation out there in the wild.
Realistically though, it’s not economically feasible to employ a full-time ideas person. There’s simply “not enough work” for this person to do in an office on a daily basis. Hence the hesitation of employers to hire such a person. Generating ideas is an off-the-clock and off-the-office job. Idea generators work best either in the comfort of their own home, in the middle of the night, wrapped up with a blanket on their personal sofa. Or at most, lazing away at the local cafe, sipping on their third mug of caffe latte, watching the world go by… Basically, a person with a powerful imagination… The ideal candidate’s habitat is certainly not in an office of any sort.
The best compromise is actually to engage an independent ideas consultant. That way, you don’t have to keep breathing down their necks when they’re on the clock. And they have their freedom to work in their most conducive environment. Plus, he or she has the freedom to engage with more than one client at any one time. That way, they don’t waste time serving one single client. There’s inevitably so much idle time in between action and result.
So How Do You Organise And Coordinate These Specialised Jobs Effectively?
What you really need is an ideas organiser. Somebody who knows how all of the individual specialisation work, though not necessarily actively involved in it. What you need is somebody who knows how to speak the “creative language” with these specialists. And also able to translate them into “common language” for regular folks to understand. What you need is an ideas person. A person who can fully comprehend your “business language”, and translate it into a creative idea. Finally, the most important trait, to develop a creative idea based on your business needs.
Just like the renovation contractor who understands your needs as a home owner, the ideas person understands your needs as a business owner. And just like a renovation contractor who “speaks” various specialist languages, so does this ideas person “speak” creative languages too.
How Do You Engage An Ideas Generation Person?
What you’re looking for is somebody who truly understands not only your industry, but also your unique business practice too. As a business owner, you understand your business and your operations intimately. Like a ship’s captain looking out from the ship’s bridge, your perspective is limited to looking out from your company’s “bridge” too. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, except that your audience will see your messages by looking into your company from the outside.
It’s just like asking an automotive engineer to explain how the Torsen differential works to a group of housewives. The engineer probably knows how to explain it in detail. Unfortunately the housewives wouldn’t understand half of what was explained. This is where the ideas person comes in. He or she need not be a qualified engineer, but will have enough technical knowledge to know how it works. And more importantly, knows how to tell the story to the housewives in words that they can understand.
Ideally, this person should be a full-time employee in the company. However, we live in a realistic world, and reality is never ideal… So realistically speaking, this candidate’s responsibility would be too specialised. Thus, his or her work will be too sparse to be practical on any employer’s payroll.
And The Solution Is?…
There are two practical ways to get this ideas generation service. The first choice is engaging an independent ideas consultant to work with your chosen specialists service providers. As an independent consultant, he or she will “see” your message from outside-in. Hence he’s able to help you modify your message so that it is received as you wanted it to.
The second, and the simplest method, is engaging a ideas generation agency, complete with all the necessary specialist services. You may lose the fine control, but you gain the overall objectives achieved.
You can choose to engage either an individual consultant or a creative agency to help you generate ideas. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the balance between having full control of how your business is run, and how to generate effective ideas to further enhance your corporate message.
At the end of the day, the only way for any business to move is forward. And how you choose to move forward is entirely up to you (or your senior management). You can hold on tight to your reins and rule how information is disseminated with an iron fist. Or you can engage an independent ideas generator, and have them navigate your business through the high seas of the business world for you. Which ever route you choose to take, just make sure that you keep moving forward.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.