Today, the parable of the “idea factory” run amok:
Imagine, if you will,
a small manufacturing company 🏛️that produces square blue widgets 🟦.
They produce tens of thousands of them.
But one day, the CEO goes to a conference
and comes back with new ideas. 💡
“Forget the square blue widgets! 🟦
We’re going to making round red widgets!” 🔴
Everyone shrugs their shoulders and gets to work.
The ops team figures out how to make round red widgets.
And the marketers and salespeople
Focus on creating demand for round red widgets.
Next month, the CEO says red widgets are out. It’s time to make purple thingamabobs. 👾
The whole company would quickly revolt,
saying, “That’s nuts!” we haven’t even figured out
how to sell those round red widgets yet.
Like that manufacturing company,
I’ve seen thought leadership run amok,
churning out idea after idea
without taking any of them to scale.
Worse, while they’re constantly chasing new ideas,
the few bits of completed thought leadership languish on the shelf.
So, think of thought leadership as an assembly line.
Some Idea Factories have been stopped for years.
Others are running full-tilt putting out half-finished ideas.
(Think of the classic Lucille Ball skit at the chocolate factory).
What ideas does your organization create?
How well is your Idea Factory running?