The Daily ReTORt

My photo
I'm no longer posting here. Visit my new blog -> WWW.THEDAILYRETORT.COM

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: Ideas Are Free

One of the fundamental principles in the field of psychiatry is that most humans are driven by a fear of loss rather than the perceived reward of gain, which means new opportunities and novel ideas are often avoided in favor of the status quo.
Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations

Unfortunately, this construct of the human mindset is a recipe for financial decline when it’s rampant within a commercial organization.

In the book Ideas Are Free, authors Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder challenge managers and executives to mine their own organizations for both small and large nuggets of knowledge.
I like this book a lot, because it recommends a bottom-up, contrarian strategy to glean the best ideas and learnings from the individuals who have the best understanding of the respective business – namely the front-line employees rather than executives.

Ideas Are Free also showcases the best-of-breed idea generation tactics from more than 300 companies across dozens of industries to help the reader see how it’s done.

Simply put, too many companies look outside the organization for the next big idea, when a little introspection might go a long way toward producing significant results.


  1. Excellent blog and recommendation. I look forward to reading it.
    Not sure how well Kodak - from a corporate sense - would embrace it (and make it one of the fundamental "principles" of doing business), but on a small scale, I think that my group does a pretty good job of soliciting - and considering - ideas from within (especially when they pertain to revenue generation!).
    Thanks again.

  2. @GBR, I completely agree that it can be difficult for large corporations to properly assess their most important asset - which happens to be their people. Those individuals have the best line of sight as to what will and won't work for a given process or procedure to build the "bottom line." That internal "institutional memory" is often discounted in favor of external consultants - to the longterm detriment of the organization.