Saturday, April 18, 2009

Given a choice between a “Picture” and “Thousand words”, choose “Hundred words”!

Collaborative innovation, open innovation or co-creation, one of the frequently asked questions is “how do you go through the heaps of inputs you might end up getting and arrive at a meaningful solution”. In other words “how do you reduce all the noise and reach out to the music?”

Here I am listing two extreme enablers, most “obvious” and most “not so obvious”, there is lot in between, left out for some other time!

1) Most obvious is “Use technology to do part of the job”. Like Bugzilla does it for finding out the probable duplicate bugs, Wikipedia allows team to work on the same page so you don’t need to merge.

2) Most not so obvious, yet the game changer is to be to-the-point and encourage others to be to-the-point.

If you are an idea contributor, a solver, think of a risk that your “very valid” input was buried under your own stories and nobody noticed it. If you are a moderator, a seeker, think of the amount of time you would spend going through haystack to find the needle.

At the same time there is a risk in being too crisp, risk of not being understood. (Sometime the “picture” does not convey!).

So the right balance needs to be found.
  • Try stretching & shrinking the articulation of your idea till the right “playback” is reached, similar to the original one in your mind.
  • Group and Un-group your thoughts, doing this will remove many duplicates.
  • Don’t go beyond one level from the original topic, and if you do then come back quickly.
  • What works for me is - write what I want to write and then go back and make it to the point, so scribble endlessly if you need to, but then edit it like a devil.
While ago, I read this wonderful book “Don't Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. Steve says “If you have room in your head for only one usability rule, make this the one ... “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left“. I think this usability principle applies to lot many scenarios than obvious …“a Website and a Visitor”, “an Author and a Reader”, “the Leader and a Team”, “Marketer and a Customer”, “Seeker and a Solver”.

You will be amazed to find that “you can” actually make your point clear in lot less, lesser than you first thought.

When it is about collaboration ... less is more ... to-the-point is huge.


  1. Jayesh,

    Great to see your blog on innovation. I enjoyed reading your blog. I have a blog on innovation. I welcome yourself and your readers to check it out at:

    Looking fwd to exchanging thoughts with you!

  2. Thanks AP.
    Saw your blog, nice video collection.
    Yes, let us keep in touch and exchange thoughts on common interests.