Listen, Be Open-Minded, Avoid Judgment

Business ideas are often shot down due to a perceived notion that there’s a lack of imagination. Just as it takes an open mind to develop new ideas, it takes an open mind to effectively evaluate the objectives and opportunities that could evolve. Instead of limiting possibilities, utilize a process that is logical and non-judgmental to uncover a solution that is tailored to your business needs.

Evaluating ideas can be easy or relatively complex, depending on the task and final goal. It is essential to understand the problem first in order to find the right solution. For example, when buying a new car you typically don’t just think about what color you want. There are many criteria to consider such as size, make, model, and features needed versus wanted. Taking the time to acknowledge all options allows a greater possibility for creative, yet calculated decision-making.

Once idea generation is complete, there are five factors that can be used to filter in the first part of the evaluation process. Here are just 5 criteria that can be used to evaluate one idea from another:

  1. Impact on loyalty
  2. Feasibility
  3. Speed of implementation
  4. Competitive advantage/can’t be replicated easily
  5. Financial impact (Cost of resources and quarterly reporting)
Circular chart the demonstrates the Basadur Innovative Process: 1. Problem Finding 2. Fact Finding 3. Problem Definition 4. Idea Finding 5. Evaluate and Select 6. Plan 7. Acceptance 8. Action. There is a blue arrow pointing to #5 stating “We Are Here”.

From Ideas to Implementation

When evaluating new ideas, achieving consensus is crucial. Why is this case? Because implementation is the next step in the process. If individuals within a group do not feel heard, there will be a drop in commitment to follow through with assigned tasks and responsibilities. Listening carefully to everyone that is involved in the process builds clarity, understanding, and most importantly – trust among the team. It is important to remember that you are all there to solve a collective problem, not begin a debate that ends in a stalemate.

Converging Using Consensus Skills

  • View differences in perspective as constructive
  • Listen carefully to what others say
  • Build off of points of agreement
  • Give unusual ideas/options careful consideration
  • Create alternatives to bridge small differences
  • Keep the focus on making the best decisions, not protecting or justifying your own ideas
  • Encourage full group participation
  • Be open and honest, say what you think
  • Explain your thoughts specifically, define words and ideas so they’re collectively understood
  • Don’t let individuals with higher positions or those that are louder and more vocal take over the group

This process of evaluation doesn’t necessarily lead to the implementation phase immediately. Its purpose is to guide the team in new directions and approaches that may not have been considered otherwise. Providing a process and environment for everyone to unlock their innovative potential is what will lead to new ideas and a business that will continuously outperform its competitors.

To learn more about the process of evaluating and selecting ideas, visit Remember, everyone is an innovator, you just don’t know it yet. Basadur can help show you how.