Generating Better Business Ideas


Lifecycle of Management  Ideas 

When evaluating the sustainability of lifecycle management  ideas , it’s important to evaluate the  ideas  in the context of the company. Performance is more relative than absolute. For this reason, the success of  business   ideas  can’t be replicated in every company. If  ideas  can be replicated, the competitive advantage is lost.

The Role of the Business Leader

Managers with revolutionary  business   ideas  usually have a different concept about authority and have a unique management style. These managers are dedicated to making the organization much different from when they started.

For example, P.V. Kannan, CEO and Co-Founder of 24/7 Customer, a company that focuses on outsourcing, developed a company that managed email (before companies routinely used email communication). He ran into a lot of resistance when marketing the  idea  to  business  owners. However, companies use email routinely today, which makes Kannan a revolutionary leader (although the  idea  doesn’t provide a competitive edge any longer). Kannan also launched a call center in India and received a lot of push back. The call center currently has over 7,000 employees and is a huge success.

Some  business  leaders aren’t confident there are many new  business   ideas  in the marketplace. They believe that most leaders are taking existing  ideas  and tweaking them to improve success.  Business   ideas  often go through cycles. What’s successful today may be obsolete several years down the road and then make a come back in 20-years.

Recognizing Good Management  Ideas 

Even the brightest leaders get confused about drivers and results. Management should invest time ensuring that data is independent and reliable. When testing the success of an  idea , make sure the independent variables are truly independent and aren’t influenced by outside factors. If you don’t follow this rule, companies don’t have an accurate picture of what is driving the results.

For example, Kannan was asked by a large client to develop two new customer service measures. Customer service representatives were now required to end the call by asking if there’s anything else needed and saying “have a nice day.” However, by measuring the impact of these changes, Kannan found the new changes didn’t make a positive impact. In fact, customers were annoyed by representatives prolonging the conversation and wanted to get off the phone quickly.

Generating Larger Pools of  Ideas 

When coming up with good  ideas , it should be generated from a large pool of  ideas . This way, management can throw out the bad  ideas , and hone in on the most promising strategies. Employees developing the pool of  ideas  should come from a variety of  business  units. When everyone in the room comes from the same place, the organization may miss out on a truly great  idea . Conformity in this process will only lead to short-term results. More diversity provides more opportunities for long-term results.

Another challenge in implementing good  ideas  is taking the  ideas  from concept to implementation. As management teams go through changes,  ideas  often get lost in the mix and don’t see the light of day. Streamlining the process for rolling out new  ideas  will ensure the strategies aren’t sabotaged by unnecessary roadblocks.

Rolling out revolutionary  ideas  can seem risky. However, having good research to support the new  ideas  allows leaders to make educated guesses when the outcome is risky. Taking calculated risks provides an opportunity to win market share and boost long-term results. When planning new  ideas , management should think outside the “boom and bust” cycles and build capabilities that have the potential to provide a competitive advantage for years to come.

The Future of Management Practices and Thinking

Generating the best  business   ideas  to create long-term success will require a higher degree of attention paid to daily events. Managing daily activities more efficiently will continue to drive better performance and revenue. Management need to change practices to become more accountable for results. Companies also need to develop new  ideas  that will keep pace with the changing marketplace. Executives of the future will need to focus on  ideas  for generating better data and improving the accuracy of decisions.


Bridget Finn. “The Life Cycle of Great  Business   Ideas ” Booz & Co, September 2008.

Source by Mark T. Jordan

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