The Uncommonly

How to Discover Your Next Big Growth Idea

By Amy Radin

We are well into 2019. Personal resolutions, professional goals, and business targets have by now been drafted if not established. Top on the list is the perennial priority: to find the ideas that can morph into new sources of innovation and growth, and then make them real.

How do you come up with these ideas? How do you know you are onto an innovation with potential appeal to a strong market segment — one that you want to serve? What makes you move an idea from a passing thought to being worthy of resources?

There are lots of unsolved problems waiting for the next big new products, services and experiences.

The good news is, there is no magic to finding the ideas. Insights that can become solutions in the market are discoverable – by you – if you can adopt a few simple behaviors. By this I mean basic, low-cost activities that produce special impact when you take a do-it-yourself path. You do not have to be a creative genius. To get going, you do not even need a big budget. There are some basic requirements.

Five Steps To Progress

If you are among those change makers starting the year on the quest for that next big idea, no matter what sector, company, or position you are in:

  1. Always have on hand a notebook, pen, and charged phone with a working camera.
  2. Put yourself in situations where you can observe and interact with those people you want to serve. Not sure who they are? Start broad, and plan to filter.
  3. Watch, listen, take notes and maybe even take pictures … record observations.
  4. Be open – do not limit your exploration to the confines of your idea. Seek to understand the fuller context. Pose open-ended questions when you have the chance to engage, and put out stimuli that evoke feedback.
  5. Repeat…make it a habit.

Two caveats:

  • Set aside old takes on what you believe is the answer. If not, you run the risk of simply pursuing confirmation of your own biases, and asking people to validate what you already believe.
  • Avoid any variant of the question, “what would you do if …” This line of questioning encourages speculation; people often don’t know what they would do, and will be uncomfortable admitting ignorance.

There really is no magic to seeking the insights that will set you on the path to big new opportunities. Listen. Observe. Be open. You will quickly see impact.

Happy seeking. And, if I can help you make progress towards your seeking objectives, please just let me know.

Find everyday tips on discovering the next big idea, and other aspects of the Seek, Seed, and Scale methodology to execute innovation for results in The Change Maker’s Playbook.

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About Amy Radin

Amy Radin is an adviser, speaker and author, working with executives and senior leaders to deliver growth through meaningful innovation. She offers an uncommonly pragmatic and disciplined approach that begins with pinpointing high-potential unmet market needs, and from there provides a proven framework for “what to do next” and how to lead through the inevitable, daily challenges any organization will face in pursuit of innovation.
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Amy is a leader who is demanding and relentless in the pursuit of the great.

In The Change Maker’s Playbook she shares her philosophy and methods to transform ‘out-there’ ideas into new real world business models that can change businesses’ growth trajectories and how brands engage with their customers.

Kahina Van Dyke
Global Head, Digital Channels & Client Data Analytics; Standard Chartered Bank Board Member, Progressive Insurance