New study on how experts screen ideas2020-12-10
Organizations use idea screening to select which ideas to develop into innovation projects. The question is how do experts decide if an idea is good? It is a complex interplay of intuition, analysis and sensemaking, according to a new study from CTF, Center for Service Research at Karlstad University.
The researchers have mapped and analyzed activities that expert evaluators use to screen ideas, and how these activities are used to identify ideas of high quality. By studying 2460 individual idea evaluation activities, amongst experts at two large technology-oriented companies, they revealed that perceptions of idea quality emerge from three sources: sudden flashes of intuition, systematic analysis of ideas, and thoughtful sensemaking.
“Expert evaluators use intuition to make rapid holistic decisions about idea quality, analyze ideas in detail to determine their value, and employ sensemaking to understand and elaborate on ideas,” says Alexandre Sukhov, who is the lead author of the article.
The researchers found six reoccurring patterns that lead to a perception of a good idea. Studying these patterns closer helped to outline the reasons for why these ideas are perceived as good.
1. An idea is something that can easily be implemented
2. An idea is implementable and it can be developed further
3. An idea is good but complex
4. An idea is promising but needs improvement
5. An idea is good because it has worked before
6. An idea is good because it matches a category
“This knowledge can be valuable for organizations that work with idea management and innovation, and want to improve their innovation processes. We see that experts can be integrated to a greater extent in idea development, and contribute with unique insights that make ideas clearer and more developed,” says Alexandre Sukhov.
The article “How experts screen ideas: The complex interplay of intuition, analysis and sensemaking”, is published in Journal of Product Innovation Management, and can be downloaded here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpim.12559.