Compounding Ideas. I mentioned this in the last post, but the whole concept is worth repeating. This term is used to describe ideas which build upon other ideas. They are compounded in the same manner money is compounded, increasing in value and dimension.
I definitely like this term. It makes me think about the notion of standing on the shoulders of giants. It also suggests (though doesn’t explicitly imply) a notion of teamwork, where various people are building on one another’s ideas.
The Innovation book suggests that compounding ideas rarely come from brainstorms. Brainstorms are typically about the number of ideas rather than the depth of ideas.
For this reason, having meetings, discussions, or other formal opportunities for groups or individuals to compound ideas is necessary. The author’s call these meetings “Watering Hole” meetings. We’ve been over this stuff, but the book spends a good amount of time on it, so I am as well.
How do you compound an idea? Probe it. Consider it with constraints. Consider how it might evolve. Consider how it might combine. Consider where the value proposition is weak or strong and discuss.
Think. Focus. Analyze.