Is convergent thinking like a free market?

Check your assumptions at the innovation door.

Is convergent thinking like a free market?

Convergent Thinking. Why your team is like a FREE market?

The definition of a FREE MARKET is unrestricted competition.  Businesses are free to create their own prices, value propositions and ultimately, the customer takes care of the rest.

There are hundreds of options available for cereals, cars, ice cream but in the end, the success of any product is determined by the perceived value of not one consumer, but the collective consumer. The FREE MARKET

When working teams are converging and trying to come up with the best options, opportunities, and ideas and converging on those best ideas, the TEAM you are working with has the ability to be a “proxy for a free market”.

When a consumer buys anything, the amount of data that goes into purchasing anything is far greater than one single point of thinking.

Take cereal for example.  There is marketing, taste, and price.  Don’t forget tradition. We still might value a bowl of Shreddies, because it makes us think of getting up early before school on a cold morning with our mom and sitting with our backs to the heating vent eating cereal.

So, when coming up with new ideas, it would make sense that innovation teams try to input all the potential points for purchasing a product. For just one person to have the ability to have the wherewithal to perceive all of these data points with a new product is a tall order.

The advantage of converging on ideas as a team is that off-the-wall facts, logical facts, and emotional facts can be assessed differently by each individual, but collectively, if done properly, a well-oiled team can represent a great proxy for the free market when honing in on a new idea.

So think of the converging process as a free market before it gets to the free market.  Your group is tasked with coming up with the best ideas that will survive and thrive in the marketplace.  Statistically, your ability to come up with successful new ideas is improved if you buy into the concept of cognitive diversity and you appreciate all “buyers” in the market. Your team should have unrestricted competition in determining the best products. In other words, proper convergent thinking when coming up with new ideas, should NOT be done by ONE person.

While you are innovating, your team members indirectly simulate these different ways of thinking by many buyers.

The truth is, it’s not easy to hit a home run when innovating and coming up with new ideas.  But it is relatively easy to reduce the risk and costs of a massive failure by leveraging the combined knowledge of many, by assembling the “right team” and converging on ideas as close to a FREE MARKET.  

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