Doorways: The killer of ideas and how to save them

How to save your ideas

Ever get up to refill your coffee cup at work and had a thought sneak into your mind – the solution to a problem you’ve been having for some time and you think, that’s really a great idea!  I should tell the team!

By the time you get back to your desk, you’ve stopped to have a conversation with a peer, you’ve used the bathroom, and you’ve forgotten your idea and the importance of sharing it.

I challenge that lost innovation is lost production and lost sales.

In 2011, a Psychology Professor at Notre Dame concluded that doorways were to blame for the loss of thoughts.  He theorized that the brain registers doorways as event boundaries.  The thing that was thought, discussed or decided gets compartmentalized to the room that you were in and recall becomes difficult.

As simple as it would be to blame the doorways and maybe attempt to structure our offices without them, the reality is that our brains are imperfect to innovation and ideation.  Our brains are creative, solution focused, constantly evolving but our memory to commit to these ideas may leave us missing out on opportunity.

Once upon a time, our office was covered in post-it notes.  Post-its on the monitor screen, on the wall, ideas in computer docs.  Ideas in our notes. All of this still required our ability to remember sharing our ideas with our peers and moving them from post-it notes to tangible presentable information.

Leantime Idea Boards were born out of our own doorway struggles.  When we realized we were losing ideas, we knew that also meant we were losing dollars.

According to Gartner,

“Idea management is a structured process of generating, capturing, discussing and improving, organizing, evaluating and prioritizing valuable insight or alternative thinking that would otherwise not have emerged through normal processes.”

Valuable insight.

Forbes describes the importance of Innovation as such,

“Innovation is vital in the workplace because it gives companies an edge in penetrating markets faster and provides a better connection to developing markets, which can lead to bigger opportunities, especially in rich countries. When a company has an innovative culture, it’ll grow easily, despite the fact that the creative process isn’t always simple. Tried-and-tested methods may be reliable, but trying out new things is a worthwhile experiment.”

Innovation through ideation is fundamental to business development.  Learning how to simply curate, orchestrate, share and manage your ideas. Using Innovation management to build ideas for your business, for your products, or even as a service to offer to your clients is necessary to move your business from the same old thing into the next big thing.

The 3 steps to save your ideas:

  1. Capture your ideas before you walk through doorways
  2. Discuss and engage on new ideas
  3. Conduct regular ideation workshops to foster innovation

With Leantime, we’ve created a way to do this intuitively.  At the coffee machine and want to get that idea down? Share instantly from your phone with our mobile version.  Stop losing dollars with lost ideas. Discuss ideas and attach milestones to show progress.

How does your team currently manage your ideas?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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