New Ideas

ACM Ubiquity has an interview with management consultant Laurence Prusak, author of “What’s the Big Idea”. Some quotes:

One [of the big ideas in the book] the whole notion of “Idea Practitioner.” We wanted to identify a group of people who we felt had never been acknowledged or even written about in past management literature. And these are Idea Practitioners — people who, for whatever reasons, are intrinsically motivated, and who latch on to new ideas and bring them into the organization and fight for them. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but they do this over and over.

People like that tend to be disruptive. If I’m the head person of an organization, they’ll come to me and say: “Wait a minute.” Or they’ll come with some new idea that they actually want me to think about! It’s Quality, it’s Knowledge Management, it’s Reengineering, it’s Management By Objectives, it’s whatever. We have a list of several hundred ideas in the back of that book, and even so, there are many more Big Ideas we just didn’t list. Most people in organizations — including the executive — just want to maintain an equilibrium. They’d like to just keep going along doing tomorrow what they did yesterday. But then these Idea Practitioners come in and they disturb the equilibrium. I mean, if someone’s telling you about a new idea you need to listen to, it means what you’re doing could be improved upon or is wrong — and people don’t always like hearing that.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.