Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Ideas have always been around and they have always been of commercial value. But now, with mass communication, even ideas are being commoditized. That means new, differentiated and well-articulated ideas may be all that distinguishes your business in the marektplace.
In the midst of the pandemic, many companies began churning out even more content than usual, as they sought to capture the new zeitgeist and provide guidance for customers and employees.
In many cases, talented marketers and wordsmiths at the highest ranks of companies created whole new positionings for their organizations along with the masses of content. These people did so using years of training and experience in ideation, idea capture and idea articulation.
Within the daily business, however, subject-matter experts in such companies are not provided with similar training to gain the skills they need to ideate and communicate professionally.
On one hand, teams of employees are put under pressure to articulate the value of what they are doing for the client and to pivot the business in a creative way; on the other hand, these same teams are given little support, guidance or training in how to capture and articulate their best ideas for the business.
Imagine what your business could be like if men and women at all levels of the company were enabled to become ideas scouts for the business?
They would not only be creating a language to express the value they already deliver, they would have the ideation skills they need to constantly identify new needs and ways to serve the client.
By enabling your workforce to become ideators, you can constantly grow your business and innovate.
It makes complete sense considering the world at large. Technology improvements are changing the way people live and work at enormous speed. In the human-machine partnership, we humans have the most exciting role: to ideate and persuade.
The machines will never do this for us. A machine can calculate, but only a human can cogitate.
But humans must be enabled to articulate their ideas in a way that makes them useable and easy to understand. They must acquire story smarts.
What are story smarts?
Story smarts involve the ability to use language to articulate ideas in ways that make them applicable and useful to others.
In most companies, the experts in the business have been trained to think and write in an academic style as opposed to a journalistic style. The journalistic style is about knowing how to identify the salient nugget and pull it out of a jungle of other ideas. Once identified, journalists and editors also know how to create context around the idea and develop it further.
The journalistic style is about knowing how to identify the salient nugget and pull it out of a jungle of other ideas.
Imagine if people in your business were doing this left and right on a daily basis?
Many of the amazing ideas that reside with the business would no longer be getting lost because of broken processes and time restraints.
Your company has the chance to enable your workforce to become ideators for the business, and not leave the task to the higher-ups who already have story smarts.
The idea may make some of the higher-ups uncomfortable because their existence depends on their story smarts. And that’s why what I’m proposing is indeed a form of disruption.
As a writer for companies for many years, I have observed a content and idea production model that has grown too far too fast and has significant weaknesses.
I say it’s time to disintermediate the content creation model that most companies are using and enable your workforce to become ideators for the business.