To get to that killer idea, quantity leads to quality

How many times have we heard, quality over quantity. However when it comes to coming up with a great idea…

In an August 2016 McKinsey Publishing article, Rik Kirkland a partner at McKinsey interviewed Adam Grant, professor of management and of psychology at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Adam shared 6 tips on generating great ideas. Tip # 1 is have lots of ideas, not just a few big ones. “You have to generate a lot of variety to be original. If you just come up with a few ideas, your first few are usually the most obvious. You have to rule out the familiar in order to get to the novel. But most people never do that. They fall in love with their first idea, or they end up questioning whether they have the ability to come up with more ideas.”

I am living proof of this. Since I started my own business 15 years ago, I’ve been an idea factory. Some of them turned into new products/services and many of them went into the trash. I’m hoping one or two of them may turn into something significant. I get it. Quantity of ideas allows me to push past the normal but insignificant ideas to get to a new level of quality ones. But I also need to have the discipline to test them for feasibility. For all this to work, I need to brainstorm and test on a consistent basis.

This means you need to build a habit to think innovatively on a consistent basis. In Mr. Grant’s words, “Generate lots and lots of ideas, knowing that you’re going to spew out a lot of garbage in order to get greatness.”